It’s two weeks until FOX’s “RENT: Live.” If that doesn’t have you clearing your calendar for January 27th, allow me to introduce you to this beloved, cultural movement.
With music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson and a book that transports Puccini’s “La Bohème” to 1980’s New York, “Rent” brought some edge to Broadway. It also brought a whole new generation to the theater.
I’ll be honest, the show has a lot going on, but not more than you can handle. Plus, we’re two weeks out, so you have plenty of time to familiarize yourself with “La Vie Boheme.” Fair warning, it gets complicated.
To get you started, here are a few familiar faces from past live musical events…
First up there’s Brandon Victor Dixon who will be playing Tom Collins, the former roommate of Mark and Roger (who are kind of the main characters). He’s also a professor at MIT and will probably make you cry at some point during the show. You’ve been warned.
Here is Mr. Dixon stealing the show in last year’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” on NBC.
Next up, there’s Jordan Fisher who will be playing Mark. Mark is the man behind the camera, literally. He’s also Maureen’s ex, which I’ll get back to. He’s struggling to find his voice as an artist, and acts as a sort of narrator for the show. He’s both in the middle of the drama and removed at the same time.
Here’s Mr. Fisher doing a duet with Lin-Manuel Miranda. You may also recognize him from “Grease: Live!”. He was the one who stole the show with his guitar and “Those Magic Changes.”
Finally (for today), there’s Vanessa Hudgens. She’ll be playing Maureen, who, as previously mentioned, used to date Mark. She’s currently dating a lawyer named Joanne. Did I mention it gets complicated?
Here she is breaking hearts with her incredible with “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” in “Grease: Live!”.
There’s a lot going on. There’s even more backstory, but it all comes together. I promise. If you don’t believe me, tune in two weeks from now and decide for yourself.