Rent: Live will be coming to a screen near you very soon, and so there's "no day but today" to fully prepare for the musical event. The live musical will air on FOX on Jan. 27, and as that date fast approaches, many fans are wondering how to watch Rent so they can refresh their memories. The 1996 Tony Award winner for Best Musical was also turned into a feature film in 2005, and so there are plenty of ways to catch a previous incarnation of Rent before the live airing on Jan. 27.
Rent tells the story of young starving artists living in New York City's East Village in the late 1980's. When it first premiered on Broadway, it was heralded in The New York Times as a show that restored "spontaneity and depth of feeling to a discipline that sorely needs them." Critic Ben Brantley said, "People who complain about the demise of the American musical have simply been looking in the wrong places." Almost 25 years later, we all know what a hit Rent was and remains to this day. So this guide is here to help you experience the groundbreaking musical and catch up with all the rest of the Rent-heads.
Watch the movie on Hulu
If you have a Hulu account, you're in luck. The 2005 Rent movie is available in its entirety on the subscription streamer. Since most of the original cast of the Broadway production reprised their roles for this film, watching the movie is almost the same thing as time traveling back to the mid-90s to see the original show; but this way you get to do it from the comfort of your couch.
Watch the whole Broadway show on YouTube
In 2008, the original Broadway production of Rent ended its 12-year run at the Nederlander Theatre, but luckily the final performance was recorded. The film of that performance was shown in theaters and sold on DVD. But most importantly, some kind soul put the whole thing up on YouTube, where you can now watch it. This is the one to watch if you're more interested in seeing how Rent plays out on stage rather than as a film.
Also, for all the Hamilton fans out there, Renee Elise Goldsberry (who won a Tony for her performance as Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton) played the lead role of Mimi in this closing night cast of Rent. So you can watch this performance to catch a little sneak peek of a star in the making.
Watch clips of the original cast of Rent in 1996
When Rent first premiered, there was no such thing as YouTube, but thankfully, it does exist now and we can turn to it to dig up some super old footage. There's the press reel of clips of the original production, which gives you the chance to see everything in its original form, from Angel's Santa costume to a very young Idina Menzel.
Pretty soon Rent: Live will be on this list of ways to watch Rent, and I personally can't wait to see a new generation's take on the rock musical phenomenon.