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Things We Saw Today: Star Trek: Discovery Cast Sings a Parody of RENT for Nerds

File this under things I never thought I’d type: now you can watch the cast of Star Trek: Discovery give RENT’s standard “Seasons of Love” a nerdy spin, as they sing on the starship bridge in full makeup and uniform.

The in-joke that kicks this thing off is that Anthony Rapp, who plays Stamets, was one of the original cast members of RENT. Rapp played the lead role of Mark Cohen, and Wilson Cruz, who plays Stamets’ lover Hugh Culber, was also on Broadway in RENT as Angel. The two men have been friends for more than twenty years; you may have caught that reference to “La Boheme” in the first season of Discovery, which was a tip of the hat to the actors’ time in RENT.

When I had the chance to speak with the cast of Discovery at NYCC, I jokingly asked Rapp and Cruz if we’d ever get to see them singing on the show—maybe there’d be a musical episode, or a holodeck-type situation that necessitated it? They confirmed that we might, in fact, have some onscreen singing eventually. But I didn’t think I’d get to see Discovery‘s stars belting out RENT, much less having so much winking fun with it.

In the clip posted to the official Star Trek Facebook video page, Anthony Rapp (Stamets) is joined by Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Saru), and Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) on Discovery‘s bridge. They sing a tongue-in-cheek Star Trek-themed version of “Seasons of Love,” anchored by Rapp:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred reboots

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred Star Trek shows to explore

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred spin-offs

All boldly going where no one’s gone before

From Shatner, and Stewart, to Whoopi and Leonard Nimoy

From Nichols, to Pine, and don’t forget Takei,

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred Star Treks

And there’s one reason this franchise thrives

The answer is: nerds

Thanks to the nerds

Shout out to nerds

So many nerds

The cast is clearly having fun and self-identifying as nerds themselves; something about Doug Jones standing there and singing in full Saru makeup makes this even more surreal. Can we have a musical episode, um, yesterday?

(image: screengrab)

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What did you see out there today?

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.