Rent: Live is currently going down on FOX, and it's got all Rent fans wondering: Is the original Broadway cast tuning in? How do they feel about the performances? Well, not only are they watching — they're there! The original Broadway cast is on set and gearing up to make an appearance at the end of the show. This is not a drill. Idina Menzel and the original Rent cast's tweets revealed that they've reunited for the special live performance.
I'm personally dying to know how she feels about Vanessa Hudgens taking on the role of Maureen, which she famously originated in the original Broadway cast as well as the 2005 film. Is she mooing along with V. Hudge?! These are the things I need to know!!
For any of you who don't know what Rent is (literally, how?), it depicts a year in the live of six friends living in New York City during the AIDS crisis. It's an especially poignant story, given that the show's creator, Jonathan Larson, died of a heart condition the morning of the show's first off-Broadway preview. The show went on to win four Tony Awards in 1996, including Best Musical. It's one of Broadway's most famous shows, with songs like "Seasons of Love" being one of the most recognized songs in the Broadway music genre.
Menzel spoke with Playbill back in October 2018 about her experiences in the early days of the creation of Rent. Of the show's most popular song, "Seasons of Love," and what it was like to sing it for the first time, Menzel said,
This was the very first thing we learned together as a cast. All of us sitting around behind our music stands figuring out our parts. I remember being so moved. There was something electric in that room. It was the perfect song to bring us all together, to form a family.
Do you hear that? That's the sound of my tears falling on my keyboard. Don't ask me how I'm doing. I'm not OK.
FOX has been using "Seasons of Love" as one of the biggest marketing songs for the promotion of Rent: Live, which makes sense.
This video of the Rent: Live cast speaking the leans of "Seasons of Love," however, is the cheesiest damn thing I've ever seen in all my years.
They somehow managed to make "Seasons of Love" sound more like a sad as hell ASPCA commercial, so thankfully, mercifully, they didn't make the choice to speak any of the lyrics in the actual live event. Nope, the Act Two opening number went off without a hitch, and the harmonies were magical. Idina would be proud.
On Jan. 25, Menzel tweeted a photo of her trailer and the trailers of the other Rent members, announcing to the world that they were, in fact, on set.
Then she tweeted a photo of the Rent: Live cast with the Rent cast and it made me emotional!!
And then came this piece of magic that showed Menzel with some of the OG Broadway cast.
"Just a little Sunday brunch hang with my peeps @VegaRubin @albinokid," the Frozen star tweeted. (If you don't know that Idina Menzel was the voice of Elsa, don't speak to me. You probably don't even know she was the original Elphaba in Wicked!! Be gone, you heathen!!)
And she's not the only Rent original Broadway cast member to be tweeting about the show.
Anthony Rapp, who played Mark Cohen in both the Broadway show and film (he's now on Star Trek: Discovery), tweeted about the show as well.
"Family," he said in his tweet. I'm crying.
Do I wish they had just broadcast a taping of the original Broadway show instead of doing this live performance? One million percent. Is Brandon Victor Dixon playing Collins in this version making up for all of my bitterness? Also 1 million percent. Enjoy the rest of the show, my little Broadway babies!!