Sunday’s much-hyped “live” production by Fox of the Broadway hit “Rent” hit a sour note with a number of reviewers, some of whom expressed disappointment that much of what aired on the network turned out to be pre-recorded.
To be fair, Fox had an excuse. USA Today reports that actor Brennin Hunt, who plays Roger Davis in the production, broke his foot during the final rehearsal performance. That performance, taped Saturday in front of a live audience, wound up making up much of Sunday’s broadcast.
“The cast announced during an early commercial break that much of the three-hour broadcast airing Sunday would, in fact, be from Saturday,” USA Today reports. “Unlike regular Broadway shows, Fox’s ‘Rent’ had no understudies to fill in for such an event. TV musicals typically tape late rehearsals as a safety net in the event of a technical difficulty or other problem.”
The report quotes Jordan Fisher, who plays Mark in the production, telling the audience: “Most of what you’ll see tonight will come from last night’s performance. But we have all rallied together to rework the final act so that all of us including Brennin and the original Broadway cast can perform for you, live.”
USA Today notes that Hunt performed in the final live segment with a large cast on his leg.