Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — The writing was on the wall when Fox's live production of “Rent” opened with a hefty asterisk: This musical event, despite every effort otherwise, was “previously recorded.”
As the cast explained after the first commercial break, the actor in the lead role of Roger (Brennin Hunt) broke his foot during dress rehearsal the night before, and when everyone realized the extent of the injury, a call was made. Instead of performing live as planned, Fox decided to mostly just air the footage they’d already taped, with the exception of a hastily re-choreographed final act that could include Hunt, plaster cast and all.
The situation was, to say the least, not ideal. But the decision to air what was supposed to be a run-through made an undeniable difference in a production full of distractions.
Many actors were noticeably (and understandably!) saving their voices and energy for the real thing they believed was yet to come. The first half especially felt more listless than “Rent,” a musical that lives and dies by enthusiasm and adrenaline, ever should be. Notes that should have soared petered out, waiting to truly wow the next time the curtain was raised. Alex Rudzinski, who … — Caroline Framke/@Variety