It’s “RENT: Live” eve, crusaders. Can you feel the electricity in the air?
As the excitement builds for this next live, musical experience, I thought I’d take a moment to remember those that have paved the way, some with undeniable success, others with lessons to be learned, but all wonderful in their own way.
As is usually the case, let’s start at the very beginning, at least of the modern televised musicals, with “The Sound of Music Live.” This Carrie Underwood-led pioneer was the sacrificial lamb of the party, taking a lot of the heat so that others might learn. But I will stand by the fact that this production did a lot of things very, very right…and for that NBC has removed most memory of it from YouTube, so here’s a mix of the US and UK live productions…
NBC followed that up with “Peter Pan Live!” and “The Wiz Live!,” then Fox joined the party with “Grease Live!” This was not only NBC’s first challenger but the first to incorporate a live audience into the production, a choice that made all the difference.
NBC returned with “Hairspray Live!,” which Fox followed up with “A Christmas Story Live!,” and then came the next game changer from NBC(and first Easter Special!) — “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” See what they did there? If you didn’t make sure to see what they did here:
Now as we continue on this live musical journey together, it’s Rent’s time to shine, and I wish them all the broken legs.