A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rent: Live is a semi-live performance of the popular Broadway musical, Rent. It stars Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins, Together they bring to television their interpretation of the Tony Award-winning show, which addresses mature modern-day issues of drug abuse, homelessness, and AIDS with humor and pathos, while celebrating life with joy. While some of the words and lyrics were edited for a TV audience, it's still a watch for teens and grown-ups who can discuss the darkness and light that this musical brings.
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What's the story?
RENT: LIVE (2019) is a partially live broadcast of the award-winning Broadway musical, Rent. It stars Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins, and RulPaul’s Drag Race’s Ms. Congeniality winner Valentina as Angel. Rounding out the cast are Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson, Kiersey Clemons as Joanne Jefferson, and Mario as the landlord, Benny Coffin III. Together they bring to television their interpretation of the popular show, which addresses modern-day issues of drug abuse, homelessness, and AIDS with humor and pathos, while celebrating life with joy.
Is it any good?
This disappointing rendition of the popular musical, which is based on the opera La Boheme, fails to fully deliver thanks to pre-broadcast mishaps. A last-minute foot injury sustained by one of the cast members resulted in the airing of a combination of pre-recorded scenes of the dress rehearsal with live performances. As a result, despite the star-studded cast of talented singers, the quality of the singing, and the performers' energy, is uneven throughout. Also distracting is the presence of a studio audience, who sit around and in front of the stage.
The actual stage design is brilliant and detailed, revealing the effort put into the overall event. But it also makes you wonder why no one thought to come up with a better backup plan in case of potential problems. Meanwhile, the changes to some of the lyrics and language to make it more TV-friendly may be upsetting to diehard fans of the original show. Overall, it isn’t the best performance, but Rent: Live reminds us that no matter what, the show must go on.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the challenges of adapting a Broadway show to a live performance. What are some of the changes that have to be made? What do you do when things go wrong on live TV?
Why has Rent been so popular over the years? What makes it different from other Broadway shows?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love musicals
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