*Warning: This post is going to have a lot of Rent jokes and feelings because I am a theatre nerd.*
As we prepare for Rent Live this weekend, it is important to look back on our long history with the show. Being fans of the Great White Way means that we’ve all probably had that moment when we were completely obsessed with Rent. Whether it was being in a production ourselves or just watching the countless productions and their recorded performances, most of us have gone through a Rent phase.
Here’s the thing: Being as big fans as we all are means we have some opinions about the show. Like, for starters, please, dear lord, cut “Contact” from the live broadcast. Also, like how are you going to do “Contact” if you do put it on live television? There are some less-than-appropriate themes and songs for children, and you know some parents are going to put on Rent Live for their kids and complain because they didn’t do their research to figure out what was happening in the show in the first place.
To be fair, I have a feeling that this production is going to lean heavily on the 2005 film more than it will the Broadway production (which is a mistake), so we won’t have classics like the infamous “Contact” or the full version of “Goodbye Love.” The difference between the two is that the movie (obviously) has scenes with dialogue, while the Broadway production is designed as an operetta.
I hope that Rent Live does what Grease Live! did. Sure, fans of the movie were confused when extra songs were thrown in, but Broadway fans know that “Christmas Bells” is a necessary evil, as well as “Voicemail #5.” Roger’s mother is finally interested in the fact that her son lives in New York, doesn’t pay rent, moved to Santa Fe, is starting a rock band, and still has to maintain his AZT breaks. (Which how do they afford AZT? They can’t even pay their rent!)
Sure, many of us are going to have the realization that Benny was right all along, because he was just trying to give his friends a year off from rent so they could get their lives in order (honestly though, Benny is right). The show has catchy songs, fun moments, and Roger Davis spends all year on a song that isn’t even that great (“One Song Glory” will always be better than “Your Eyes”). Rent is a part of the cultural zeitgeist and is one of those shows that stays with us all years after we’re introduced to it.
Honestly, I can’t wait until new kids become obsessed with the show just like we all did when we first listened to it. Rent Live hits Fox on January 27th, 8 PM EST. From here on in, they’ll shoot without a script.
(image: Carol Rosegg/Broadway Across America via Getty Images)
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