Fox’s broadcast of Rent Live aired on Sunday night to mixed reactions.
With Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson and Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, Fox revived the beloved rock opera musical about a New York City dystopia wherein a tribe of young artists come together during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Written by Jonathan Larson, who died suddenly in 1993 right around the show’s premiere, Rent inspired legions of fans.
Many were happy to see the live rendition more than 20 years since the groundbreaking cult favorite touched down on Broadway, even if the staging did not go off without a hitch. It’s theater, snafus happen. It was a night of highs and lows.
Brennin Hunt, who plays Roger Davis, couldn’t take to the stage for his first act after he broke his ankle during the final dress rehearsal. So without understudies to answer the call, that meant fans were watching pre-recorded footage. He was, however, able to perform his final act propped up on a chair. After all, the show must go on.
The show designed by production designer Jason Sherwood was at times plagued by uneven camera work and uneven vocals, but that didn’t stop fans from swooning for songs like “I’ll Cover You.”
To top it all off, the original cast from the 1996 performance of Rent on Broadway joined the stage to belt out the show’s biggest hit, “Seasons of Love,” and people had all the feelings.
See how fans reacted below. La vie Boheme!
Also of note, there’s a Maureen Johnson in real life getting plenty of star treatment.