The recent trend of bringing musicals to the small screen in live events has done wonders for many of the television networks. The phenomenon has created an arms race among the networks. Fox and NBC have battled for various properties, including “The Wiz,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Hairspray” over the past few years. One of the big musicals on the slate for next year will be “Rent” for Fox. We officially have the cast for that show, including Emmy favorite Brandon Victor Dixon and Vanessa Hudgens.
According to Deadline, Dixon and Hudgens are now set to headline the show. Kiersey Clemmons, Jordan Fisher, Brennin Hunt, Mario, Tinashe, Valentina, and Keala Settle are also on the board for the January production. The production will run for three hours. Tony-winning director Michael Greif, who directed the original Broadway production of the show, will helm the stage production. Alex Rudzinski, director of the “Grease: Live” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” will direct the televised portion of the show.
The cast is certainly impressive and full of breakout stars. Clemmons showcased real singing ability in “Hearts Beat Loud” earlier this year. Settle will sing “Seasons of Love,” one of the iconic pieces in the show. Tinashe and Mario have both have received critical support as musicians. Mario is a Grammy-nominated performer. Valentina appeared on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and grew a fanbase from the show. The cast represents the very diverse world that “Rent” was meant to represent. Originally written Jonathon Larson, the show focused on AIDS when the disease had recently come to New York’s East Village. The show opened in 1996, becoming one of the greatest successes in Broadway history. The live version looks to fare better than the movie musical, and potentially compete for Emmys.