‘Rent: Live’ becomes partially live

'Rent:Live' is available to watch on Fox.com. It was an interesting performance put on live by a well-known cast.

through 'On Camera Audiences' (OCA)

'Rent:Live' is available to watch on Fox.com. It was an interesting performance put on live by a well-known cast.

Antonio Garcia, Distribution Reporter

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Rent: Live, a groundbreaking and musical rendition, was aired Sunday, Jan. 27 on Fox. The broadcast emerged to be only partially live due to an actor breaking his foot the day before the airing.

The television special was based on the 2005 award-winning ‘Rent‘ movie. The film was adapted from a Broadway musical that premiered in 1996. Rent tells the story of a group of friends living in New York City that face financial poverty, homophobia, HIV/AIDS and of course rent.

During a rehearsal on Jan. 26, the day before the premier, actor Brennin Hunt broke his foot. Hunt played the character of Roger, an important role in the story. The cast did not include understudies, which caused Fox to show pre-recorded footage during the television broadcast. Almost the entire telecast showed the prerecorded dress rehearsal, with the exception of the last 15 minutes. Technical issues also occurred at the beginning of the broadcast, causing some viewers to miss the first five minutes.

“Things like that don’t happen often,” video production teacher Debbie Drew said. “It is definitely prepared for by the broadcast team, though. It’s difficult for every element of a live show to be perfect, so they have to try to find the best solution to whatever the problem is.”

Rent: Live‘ received a 27 percent review by Rotten Tomatoes, but many viewers saw the performance as and legendary and powerful for being impromptu. The major impact of the story seemed to overshadow any production issues. The well-known cast may have also positively affected reviews; it included Vanessa Hudgens, Jordan Fisher, Tinashe, Keala Settle, Kiersey Clemons, Mario, Jennifer Warren and Brandon Dixon.

It does make sense that it received a bad overall review, because of the injury. I don’t think the general population would have cared too much about the mistake because if they like the story and the actors, then they’re still going to watch it and enjoy it.”

— Jonathan Koehn

“It does make sense that it received a bad overall review, because of the injury. I don’t think the general population would have cared too much about the mistake because if they like the story and the actors, then they’re still going to watch it and enjoy it,” junior Jonathan Koehn said.

Rent features issues that are not considered mainstream, but definitely affect many people. Several characters in the show are members of the LGBT community which has a strong social impact to those in the community. The friend group is very diverse and experiences many different things together. It is important for topics like these to be discussed, especially through the help of media.

An article from Billboard said, “Singer Mario, 32, who plays landlord Benny (the role Diggs originated), watched the original stage play on YouTube. ‘As someone from Baltimore, growing up in a lower-income neighborhood with family members who used drugs, seeing gentrification, people close to my family contracting AIDS from drug use–the movie touched me in so many ways.'”

The sexual orientation of characters does play a role in the importance of the story, as do the inner-city problems faced by the group of friends. These include inner-city difficulties and the harsh environment of white America towards minorities. The story reaches out to all people in a way, emphasizing that diversity not only good, but also essential. It is recommended for viewing if  interested in these topics.

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