Reviews for Rent ( ) 720p

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Good but WAY too many unneeded changes!

Diehard Renthead here, and was so looking forward to this! Was interested in seeing how FOX was going to handle the mature nature of this incredible show! The two standouts were Brennin Hunt and Tinashe (Roger and Mimi). Vanessa Hudgens did a great job but Valentina as Angel was just a hot terrible mess and an insult to the character! Except for the great Keala Settle, the rest of the cast seemed to be unknowns and way undertalented! For a show this big, you would think they would have gotten singers who could actually sing! (Gordon, etc). Why sing the song if you can't hit the notes, or sing them well even if you can hit the notes! The sound was terrible for half the show, with the crowd acting like fan girls at a One Direction concert and their screams overtaking the singing. You can actually go onto YouTube and see high school productions that has better singers and LESS changes! Overall I enjoyed the production but thought it was very poorly put together and didn't do the show itself, Justice.

not live, audience distracting, changes annoying, cast not great

I've seen the musical at least twice and the movie many many more times! This version is not worth watching a second time. The fact that it was not live and was intended to be a dress rehearsal was quite distracting. At first, I thought it was pretty strange that they could not perform live without one person, but then again since the casting wasn't that great in the first place, I guess an understudy would have been even worse. The dance sequences in La Vie Boheme were great but changing the lyrics unnecessarily was annoying (throughout all the songs). I found it difficult to understand what they were singing much of the time and the instruments often drowned out the vocals. The tribute at the end was the most memorable part (and the only part that was actually live).

A few gems in a so-so show

RENT is my second favourite Christmas movie and I watch it (or the Live Broadway dvd) every Christmas eve. And I've seen a variety of stagings of the show. Which is all to say that I know the show very well.The highlights are the clever staging, far more elaborate than theatre in the round. The show has more in common with a high-budget stadium concert tour than a theatre setting. The stage is also built to play to multiple, moving cameras and so the live audience is sometimes jammed in.That said, the cleverest incorporation of the live audience is in the protest scene. By setting up barricades and uniformed police at the front of the live crowd, the staging gets a bit meta and turns the audience into the attendees at the in-story event.Vanessa Hudgens would have been better used in the more meaty role of Mimi, but shines nonetheless in the much-smaller role of Maureen. Of all the versions I've seen, Hudgens wrings more out of "Over The Moon" than ever before. It is beefed up into an even more pretentious performance art piece and it becomes a great showpiece.The negatives come mostly from speeding up the show to fit the timeslot. The opening of both Acts feel hurried and Seasons of Love particularly suffers for it. The film, for example, is the same length but cut two songs to get there.The rest of the cast is uneven and the show lacks the emotion of other stagings.Overall, if you have seen another version, just fastforward to Hudgens' big number and the finale and you are good to go. If you haven't seen another version, please don't start here.

I'm not sure how I feel

Rent is probably my favorite Broadway musical, and while the 2005 movie took its own liberties, I was able to attribute those to making a play into a film and it found a nice little place in my heart as well. While this version had some outstanding moments, I felt as though some things were unnecessarily changed and some performances lacked in what could have been a fantastic rebirth of this phenomenon to an entire new generation. I'll start with the performances, in no particular order.

Mario as Benjamin Coffin III: While I have always liked Mario as an R&B artist, something about his performance fell flat with me here. It's not that he did anything wrong per say, but I just didn't feel like he connected with the rest of the cast. Benny is our "villain", but sympathetic and still loveable. I didn't get that here, he just felt distant and disconnected from the rest of the characters; even more so than the 2005 movie where the character wasn't fleshed out as much.Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson: I didn't know a lot about Vanessa going into this. I was "too old" by the time she was a Disney star, and while I've heard of her from my younger coworkers, I hadn't really paid attention to her work. I will say, though, WOW!. She did a fantastic job. I'd be hard pressed to remember a scene I didn't enjoy her in. Her vocals were on point (especially during Over the Moon and Take Me or Leave Me) as was her acting. She was definitely a standout of this production.Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen: I loved Jordan. Let me repeat that, I loved Jordan. Maybe too much. While I think his performance was strong, I almost think he was TOO good. He was just so "smooth" for a lack of a better word. There was none of the awkwardness and self-doubting that you usually get from Mark. I don't think Jordan did anything wrong; his vocals were great, his acting was phenomenal, and when time came to emote, he delivered on point, but especially during La Vie Boheme he was just SO SMOOTH.Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis: Brennin was, without a doubt, one of my favorites. I know, the dumbass broke his foot the night before opening and ruined the whole "live" experience by making us watch a prerecorded dress rehearsal, but I still think he was one of the best. He emitted everything about Roger, and save a couple of possible blocking issues, I don't think it could have been done better had it gone live. His vocals were awesome, his presence was fantastic, and overall, I was very please with how he portrayed Roger.Kiersey Clemons as Joanne Jefferson: I think Kiersey also did a wonderful job. Honestly my only question with her performance is I wonder if she could have done it better live. I felt like she let the other cast overshadow her a bit in some of her scenes, so I'm wondering if she was saving the "strong" performance for the live one. Nothing to complain about with her.Tinashe as Mimi Marquez: She was fantastic; I expected more. Tinashe's performance is a bit of a double-edged sword. I already know she's a talented vocal artist, yet some of her vocals left me disappointed. Her acting was there, but I didn't feel the emotions at times. "Light My Candle" was AMAZING as was Out Tonight, but then I felt she fell short on numbers such as Without You and Another Day, both on vocals and emotion. I don't know if she was saving up for the live show, but I was pleased and disappointed at the same time.Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins: I think Brandon was another standout performance. Short of having Jesse L. Martin come back to play this role, I don't think anyone could have done it better. Everything was there; the acting, the vocals, the emotions. Fantastic job.James Leyva/Valentina as Angel Dumott Schunard: It looks as though I saved the worst for last, though that wasn't my intention. I think Valentina's performance fell completely short compared to everyone else's. The vocals weren't there, the acting was flat, and I was just left wanting something better. The character of Angel is so full of life and energy and hope, and I didn't see any of that in this performance. I do know that some of Angel's numbers are quite demanding (Today 4 U) and possible were being saved up for the live show, but after several repeat views the pitch was all over the place and I just don't think the talent was tied down when casting. I blame this on production for trying to cast someone relevant to draw a crowd when they should have focused on the talent needed to carry that character.Beyond that, lyric changes were my biggest complaint. The ensemble cast did a fantastic job, and Keala Settle was a fantastic addition in her many roles! The highlight of the entire thing of course, was seeing the original cast at the end of the show. I heard rumor that Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson were there as well, would have liked to have seen them if they were, perhaps along side Fredi Walker and Daphne Rubin-Vega.

A bunt when I wanted a Home Run

What do you get when you take Rent and put it on TV during prime time?All the actors had their volumes cut. Many of them seemed to be out of their range.Where Rent thrived on grit, this performance strove for pocket lint.The last three minutes with the original cast was not enough to save this. I'm sad, now.

I actually loved it..

Considering what we watched was from their dress rehearsal and not the actual live performance they were expecting, I thought it was fantastic. I expected Jordan Fisher and Vanessa Hudgens to be amazing and they did not disappoint. Who I was most impressed with though was Tinashe.. I wasn't expecting that performance out of her. Overall I loved it.

Wow, not good

Poor Jonathan Larson. This low-energy disappointment in no way celebrates his legacy. And the changes to his lyrics went well beyond just simple "updates" for the times. The audience should have been warned. Take a hard pass on this mess, and go see the currently touring production instead.

At Least Angel Died and Got to Miss Part of It

As a confirmed #renthead who has seen the stage and film versions more times than I'm willing to admit, here are my thoughts:-I know it's a lot to ask to find vocalists who can compare with the original cast, but Fox was obviously more concerned with hiring names teenagers would recognize than anyone with actual talent. Hudgens is fine, probably the best of the bunch, but she's no Idina. The rest of them have virtually no range and put no power into the performances.-I kinda like the expanded staging, but the audience being in the middle of everything distracts from the story and turns it into just another concert.-The censorship of certain lines and content is anathema to what the show is about. If Fox wasn't brave enough to do it as it was written, they shouldn't have done it. Larsen would have a fit knowing it was on Fox anyway.-It feels like the director knew the vocals weren't up to par based on the comparative volume of the musical accompaniment. The instruments, particularly the piano, would sometimes drown out the vocals.

Overall, it was just meh. Not enough talent, not enough energy, not enough anything. I would expect something hyped this much would be much better. 3/10

Not impressed

My apologies to all my musical, thespian friends but I was not impressed. I'm trying to puzzle out whether it was RENT or RENT LIVE that fell flat for me. So, after giving it some thought I've concluded that RENT LIVE was a fish out of water and died in a frantic gasp when removed from the societal climate of the original. The original RENT would have been groundbreaking, centered around broke artists, straight and LBGTQ, in the midst of an AIDS epidemic, talking about L-O-O-O-V-E. RENT LIVE exists in a culture where creative rebellion is the new norm, AIDS is no longer a death sentence and being LBGTQ is no longer a novelty. I found the music of LIVE to be cacophonous and the vocal renderings to be shabby with the exception of Vanessa Hudgens and a few of the supporting cast. (Kudos to Hudgens for playing against type). This dissonance was underlined when the original cast performed as a curtain-call treat. Their tones and harmonies were just the opposite of what we had been hearing for 3 hours. They were clear, beautifully blended and spectacular (Idina Menzel and Jesse L. Martin were superb). I think the experience of being in the audience of this show in-the-round might have been more stirring than sitting on front of a TV. The rare moments, that did work for me, were the more intimate moments (like Light My Candle) but I felt they were soon flattened by the speeding freight train of chaos around them. Just a note about it's origin, the musical pulls from Puccini's La Bohème and Jonathan Larson's own life in Soho at the beginning of his writing career. Regretfully, I give RENT LIVE a 5 (a bit of a mess) out of 10. {Musical Theatre for TV}

Are You Kidding Me!!!

I'm extremely upset, my heart & eyes are simply hurt by what I witnessed. I'm angry by the fact I wasted space on my DVR. It would of been better to watch snails mate in slow motion. It was badly casted, the acting & singing was terrible. Did any of the leads even bother looking at the movie or anything with the original cast. The only one who brung it with their talent was Keala Settle & the Original Cast at the end. As a matter of fact, even though the originals are a bit older; They would of turned it out + added the Angel flip from the movie! Director, that should of NEVER Been Aired! Oh, and if that was a dress rehearsal. OMG!!! What the heck were they doing in the regular rehearsals. I could just imagine what Jonathan Larson is feeling right now. I can sum it all up in 2 words....IT SUCKED!!!!

Amazing ideas/poor follow through

I love that Fox wanted to tackle something as complex as RENT.The set, direction, art and costumes are all phenomenally done.The band is GREAT.But the casting of this musical...I just don't understand using "up and comers" who CANNOT sing over established stage vets who could rock the house down.Collins was amazing. Mark was great. Other than's a hard pass from me on the cast. Valentina was AWFUL. Jesus. I get that she's "hot" right now, but she should not sing on stage. Can we get someone like Todrick? A guy who can pull off drag AND actually sing and dance.This was a valiant attempt at doing something strong and provoking, but it fell tragically flat

not live, not worth it.

Yes, I was excited for rent live, the keyword there being was. But, when the actual event came on and it said previously recorded and the cast announced that it was not going to be live due to a cast member injury, I along with probably thousands were upset. Also, this production did not really match up with the original production and just it was overall disappointing.

It would've been a great live show

Honestly, like the title, it would've been a great live show. The cast was amazing, the set was unbelievable, the chemistry between Roger and Mimi, the very inclusion of Valentina on this show, the amazing dance moves of Jordan Fisher, the appearance of the Original Cast, the voice of Keala Settle, and the list goes on and on!Although I have to admit some scenes and dialogues weren't spot on, the lyrics were oddly changed. But seriously, people, there are more things to be positive about this show than just the fact that it wasn't aired live. They've prepared this for more than 525,600 minutes, people! At least show some respect for that :)

More like Rent dead until the end....

When this musical aired on Fox last night, some people complained that the local fox station in NYC had technical issues during the first few minutes of the broadcast due to antenna alignment near where Fox is broadcasted. Others said that the show had too many ads unlike the real show on broadway, which spawned a movie as well as a recording of the musical on dvd as well as a best selling soundtrack. The result? The lowest rated musical ever on Fox.

How we gonna pay... for this disaster?

  • Live audience ruins everything.

  • The performers were not strong singers to begin with. None of them. Out of tune, no power to their voices. No emotion. Who chose these people? Wtf.
Tinashe? God. Bad choice for Mimi. All of them were bad choices honestly, minus Mario as Benny.He nailed that.

  • The entire story was lost with how quickly the pace of the show went.

Just. Hard to watch or support.Just watch the original production from back in the day or, even the AMAZING film production from 2005.

No Day but Today,...... Love it

The experience of putting together this beautiful new production of this work, while emotional, has been truly joyous for all of us."This new cast has embodied the spirit of the show from day one and they embraced Brennin with positive and uplifting love in his moment of need.

Rent' has always been about resilience and community. We can't wait for a new generation to experience Jonathan's legacy.

This was the best of the best, love the direction, lighting, cameras action and staging. I felt the band was overly loud and drown out the singer. Later the sound improved. What a joy to see the original cast members.

Not terrible

This definitely wasnt as bad as I expected. The audio mixing could have been better - many times the music was louder than the singing. Mark's character was done so well, and Vanessa truly surprised me as Maureen. Ues, it had it's ups and downs with shaky vocals here and there, but overall I enjoyed it.


The audience was super annoying. Most of the songs were fine but the vocals werent great, especially in "today for you"

Disappointing not live

Big mess not Broadway :( the voices was off and cut off

Loved this!

I haven't loved all of the live TV performances ie Grease. THIS was a whole different experience. It was AMAZING! All of the actors were amazing. I'm totally blown away by Jordan Fisher and Tinashe. Such amazing talent!! Vanessa Hudgens and Brennin Hunt were phenomenal, as well. Just overall very pleased, but also very moved. I remember the terror and despair when HIV and AIDS came about. These performers really did a great job of exhibiting all of the emotions that were a part of that time period. Brilliant job by all!