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Rent Live! (Fox)

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'Rent' Set as Fox's Next Live Musical

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Fox has found its follow-up to Grease Live.

Following prolonged negotiations, Jonathan Larson's Tony-winning HIV/AIDS-themed musical Rent is set as the network's next live musical, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Larson's estate is on board to exec produce alongside Marc Platt (La La Land, Wicked). Rent marks Platt's latest live project for following NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar and Fox's newly announced A Christmas Story and last year's Grease. Additional auspices, as well as a premiere date and casting, will be announced later. [x]

Edited by Dee
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I have a lot of really good memories around Rent, but I question this one.

The songs are all great, but the material is reeeeeeaally dated.

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1 hour ago, starri said:

I have a lot of really good memories around Rent, but I question this one.

The songs are all great, but the material is reeeeeeaally dated.

I agree. It's going to be all about the casting for this one, because the chemistry has to be there to transcend the dated-ness of the material.

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2 hours ago, starri said:

The songs are all great, but the material is reeeeeeaally dated.

ITA. Over The Moon is gonna bring the production to a screeching halt.

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And the fact that Alphabet City is not a refuge for artists, and has not been for a long, long time.  Wall Street Finance Bros, maybe.

The best version of this already exists, and was the filmed final Broadway performance that came out on DVD about ten years ago.  They aren't going to improve on that.

And it's the kind of score that demands actual singing, so I don't know if they can get away with just hiring a bunch of Disney Channel stars.

I'll bet money Joe Jonas plays Roger and Selena Gomez plays Mimi.

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1 hour ago, starri said:

The best version of this already exists, and was the filmed final Broadway performance that came out on DVD about ten years ago.  They aren't going to improve on that.

I agree with this. They should just show the Broadway performance instead of doing another version. It had Renee Elise Goldsberry, Will Chase, and a great cast. I am cringing at the mere thought of who they might cast for this. 

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2 hours ago, starri said:

And it's the kind of score that demands actual singing, so I don't know if they can get away with just hiring a bunch of Disney Channel stars.

I'll bet money Joe Jonas plays Roger and Selena Gomez plays Mimi.

Or Vanessa Hudgens who already did it at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago. Now I actually  like Vanessa, but she was....not good.....as Mimi.

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8 hours ago, starri said:

I have a lot of really good memories around Rent, but I question this one.

The songs are all great, but the material is reeeeeeaally dated.

What do you mean by dated? Rent is set in the late 1980s or early 1990s, but I'm not sure how that's different from Hairspray or Bye Bye Birdie being set in the 1960s and Grease being set in the late 1950s. 

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Because it wasn't a period piece when it debuted.  And just about every element of the plot doesn't exist anymore:  Angel and Mimi would never get so sick, the battle between the Bohemians and the Benny's of the world ended, and the Benny's won.  I don't know that we're yet at a point where the show can be retro, which is one of the reasons why the movie was so godawful.

Bye Bye Birdie may have been written of its time, but it wasn't supposed to be serious.  And Grease is set in the 50s but it was written in the 70s, so it was already retro even then.

There's just something about a show with Serious Themes set contemporary to its debut that doesn't age well.  I love A Chorus Line, and their revival was a pretty good attempt, but it's never going to really work again.

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I think those who grew up in the 90's will watch for nostalgia. And they can tell the younger folks "That's how it was when I was your age." Then they can discuss what's changed and what haven't.

I still think people can identify with two groups battling it out, especially these days.

Also, since this will be a television event, they don't have to worry about losing money due to poor ticket sales.

Edited by Snow Apple
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Rent is very much a period piece that is very married to a particular time and place.  I love the music of Rent but there are some issues with the story itself that need some work.  I'd love to see a love adaptation that corrects some of the flaws.

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8 hours ago, starri said:

Because it wasn't a period piece when it debuted.  And just about every element of the plot doesn't exist anymore:  Angel and Mimi would never get so sick, the battle between the Bohemians and the Benny's of the world ended, and the Benny's won.  I don't know that we're yet at a point where the show can be retro, which is one of the reasons why the movie was so godawful.

Bye Bye Birdie may have been written of its time, but it wasn't supposed to be serious.  And Grease is set in the 50s but it was written in the 70s, so it was already retro even then.

There's just something about a show with Serious Themes set contemporary to its debut that doesn't age well.  I love A Chorus Line, and their revival was a pretty good attempt, but it's never going to really work again.

If the plot doesn't work unless it's set in the late 1980s/early 1990s, then keep the setting as the late 1980s/early 1990s, and the problem is solved. Some things can be updated or set in any time period and others cannot. The Normal Heart was written in the early 1980s and is about the early 1980s. When HBO did a made for TV movie of it a few years ago, they kept the original setting, because it's about a particular time and place. Rent is also about a particular time and place. I saw the DVD release of the stage show and I didn't see the problems with it that you saw, but maybe I was too young to realize it.  

As for the movie, the two biggest problems were that the cast had aged out of the roles, and Chris Columbus was the wrong person to direct the movie. 

6 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

I think those who grew up in the 90's will watch for nostalgia. And they can tell the younger folks "That's how it was when I was your age." Then they can discuss what's changed and what haven't.

I still think people can identify with two groups battling it out, especially these days.

Also, since this will be a television event, they don't have to worry about losing money due to poor ticket sales.

Exactly. If the ratings are down then the network will figure out that people do not like serious musicals as live made for TV events and avoid them in the future. 

Edited by Sarah 103
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I loved the musical, I got to see it live. I also enjoyed the movie. I don't think there is any more they can add to this to make it better or even the same as what was already made.

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Geez, 2019? The world might not exist by then.

Rent is tied as my favorite musical (with POTO and Les Mis) and I've seen the musical live twice, and I generally enjoyed the movie version. I'll watch this live version, even though I haven't watched any of the other live musicals. I won't watch it though if they cast Julianne Hough or Vanessa Hudgens or Carrie Underwood or the chick who pretended to be Peter Pan, or any of the Jonas brothers. I'm still cringing over Nick Jonas being Marius in Les Mis. Ugh.

I wouldn't mind seeing Aaron Tviet as Roger though. Yummy. 

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 4:30 PM, MVFrostsMyPie said:

OnGeez, 2019? The world might not exist by then.

I wouldn't mind seeing Aaron Tviet as Roger though. Yummy. 

I'm with you.  Here's a clip supporting our casting idea. Aaron Tveit sings "One Song Glory"

Edited by tvchick
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Resurrecting this with new info: http://www.vulture.com/2018/10/live-rent-tv-musical-cast-announced.html

Vanessa Hudgens (who played Mimi in the Hollywood Bowl production, and was kind of panned) is now Maureen, and Brandon Victor Dixon (Judas in this year’s JCS Live) is Collins.  Jordan Fisher is Mark.  

Vanessa’s voice has improved since her early projects, and she got great reviews for Grease Live.  I think Maureen is generally a better vocal fit for her than Mimi, but nailing Over the Moon will be tough.  (I’m biased though, because I hate Over the Moon, and I can’t even listen to Idina’s version more than once.). 

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Valentina as Angel will be interesting. Valentina is stunningly beautiful but I don't know how great a singer she is ("she" because I have only ever seen her as her drag character) because she didn't do any singing challenges in her season of Drag Race. Her acting was fairly mediocre (not good or bad) in the 90210 and the TV pilot challenges.

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I love Rent it's my Hamilton. I wonder if there will be any censorship especially La Vie Boheme. Maureen is supposed to be really sexy I don't know if Vanessa can project that attitude.

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I wonder if they will cut Contact and some of the other more risqué parts.  Rocky Horror Live was far too watered down, and I’m not sure why Fox would choose another “controversial” show that might need too much censoring.  

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On one hand, I'm glad they got an actual Hispanic drag queen to play Angel. I don't know anything about Valentina, but I hope he can sing. Even though Angel doesn't have the most difficult vocal parts, he does have to deliver.

On the other, Mark...should've been white. The cast was already fairly diverse for a Broadway play anyway, and Mark is supposed to be the square, wide-eyed Jewish filmmaker. The musical itself is already a point-maker; we don't need the network to overdo it.

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On 12/4/2018 at 7:32 PM, 27bored said:

On one hand, I'm glad they got an actual Hispanic drag queen to play Angel. I don't know anything about Valentina, but I hope he can sing. Even though Angel doesn't have the most difficult vocal parts, he does have to deliver.

Valentina has been cast on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars this season, and she sang in the first episode's variety show (well, she lip-synched to her own song) and sounded great! So that is a relief, haha.

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On 12/9/2018 at 12:49 AM, Dee said:

Black Jewish people are a thing though.

True but the character of Mark wasn’t written as one. Sometimes reconceptualizing a character works and sometimes it’s just unnecessary. Plus, in this case, I kinda get the feeling they didn’t want some “All-American” white dude out front on the press material, not unless it was a bankable actor. 

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5 hours ago, 27bored said:

True but the character of Mark wasn’t written as one.

Mark wasn't written as white either.

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Mark is written as a Jewish kid from Scarsdale.  Scarsdale is like 1% black with a huge Jewish population.  While he isn't specifically racially identified in the musical, I think the Scarsdale identifier is supposed to be a cultural shorthand, and Jonathan Larson himself cast Anthony Rapp in the role in the original workshop and stuck with him all the way to off-Broadway.  However, putting on my mind reader spectacles and looking into the past, I don't think Larson would've had any issue with this cast, and I personally also don't have a problem with the casting of this production mixing up ethnicities and races as much as they want in these days and times, especially for a show like RENT, where a part of the point was the breaking down of artificially constructed barriers that in the end only result in sickness and loneliness and sadness.

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So this just happened, literally hours before the curtain is scheduled to go up: Brennin Hunt Breaks an Ankle

Brennin, "break a leg" is just an expression -- it's not meant to be taken literally!

Seriously, though, I wish him a speedy recovery.  I also am tuning in to see how the show works around this. I was planning to watch anyway (since I've always wanted to see Rent), but I'm really curious as to how the show will go on per the old show business tradition.  In normal theater, an understudy would take over, since that's the understudy's job.  But would a production like this have understudies for its main cast?

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He seems to be walking around.  I've never seen Rent, so I don't know if he's supposed to be dancing.  I feel for him.  

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Previously recorded?

 I’m guessing they’re going the route of video taped.

Best of not great options...

Edited by bosawks

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So this is actually the dress rehearsal?

Ah, so they just announced only the final Act will be LIVE!

Edited by Frost
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It’s kind of impressive he managed to break his ankle while wearing those combat boots.

And he must be feeling so incredibly awful today for the rest of the cast.

Poor guy.

Edited by bosawks

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Forgot "Seasons of Love" isn't until Act 2.

Angel killing a dog for money...wow. This show's music is great, but these characters are all just kind of terrible.

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Where was Angel's famous jump on the table? 

The band seems to be overpowering the performances.

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I agree, the band is too loud to hear the singing and poor Angel didn't hit that high note. But seeing as this is the rehearsal, I can forgive it all. Still sucks though that he got hurt and it's not all live.

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The band and audience cheering overpowering the actors has been a consistent problem for all these shows.  You'd think by now, they'd have figured that out.

I forgot how many awkward recitatives Rent has, which is a bit weird since the show isn't wholly sung-through.  

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6 minutes ago, cincivic said:

Where was Angel's famous jump on the table? 

The band seems to be overpowering the performances.

I wonder if the actors were holding back a bit expecting to give it their all during the live show. 

Edited by Snow Apple
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