It’s easy to forget what a phenomenon Rent was in its heyday, but back in the pre-Hamilton era of the 1990s, Jonathan Larson’s musical tour de force about a group of bohemian New Yorkers struggling with life, love, and the ravages of the AIDS crisis captured a zeitgeist and introduced Broadway to an entire generation weaned on MTV.
Larson famously passed away on the eve of its off-Broadway opening, but his legacy lives on in this Pulitzer- and Tony-winning rock opera. Tonight, the Fox broadcasting network will commemorate that legacy with Rent: Live!, which stars Vanessa Hudgens, Jordan Fisher, and Brandon Victor Dixon, among others. The live broadcast will be directed by Michael Greif, who directed the original stage version.
Fox has had mixed success with its live musical broadcasts. Grease, for instance, was a ratings hit in 2016, but A Christmas Story notably flopped the following year. So it will be interesting to see how well the grittier Rent performs. Personally, I remain hopeful that a younger crowd of musical theater fans hooked on Dear Evan Hansen and the like will be sucked in by the curiosity factor. We’ll have to wait and see.
Rent: Live! will air on Fox tonight (Sunday, January 27) at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m CT. Viewers on the West Coast will see it tape delayed at 8 p.m. PT.
If you’re a cord-cutter looking to stream the show live on your smart TV, desktop, or mobile device, you’ll need access to Fox either with pay-TV login credentials or through a standalone streaming service (or an over-the-air antenna, if you happen to have one of those). For viewers with credentials, just head on over to Fox.com/live or download the network’s mobile apps on iOS or Android.
For true cord-cutters without access to a pay-TV login, you can watch Fox live on a number of streaming services, many of which are offering free one-week trials as we speak. (Remember to check your local zip code before you sign up to make sure Fox is offered in your area.) Here’s a list of options: