Fox’s live production of Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning musical Rentwasn’t without its issues on Sunday night (Jan. 27), starting with the fact that only the last 15 minutes of the show were actually live. Brennin Hunt, who starred as struggling musician Roger, broke his foot during Saturday’s dress rehearsal and was no longer able to walk about the massive, multi-level set.
Since that performance had been recorded in front of a live audience and there was no understudy, the show went on with that footage instead. Yes, it took some of the excitement out of the evening, but the live final act — which included a curtain call of the original Broadway cast reuniting to form a straight line once again to sing “Seasons of Love” alone before being joined by their Fox counterparts — gave fans the chills they tuned in for. Our picks for the other standout moments:
• Tom’s “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)”: The most haunting image of the show was Angel lying alone, hearing her heartbeat and watching her shake before the ominous death dance “Contact” kicked in.
Then, you were waiting for Dixon to show us the emotion and pipes that earned him an Emmy nomination for playing Judas in Fox’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert at Angel’s funeral, and he delivered (with the help of The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle, who also joined the cast as the leader of an HIV support group to sing “Seasons of Love” and nearly stole the show).