by Lauren Piester | Sun., Jan. 27, 2019 8:21 PM
525,600 tears just fell out of our eyes at the end of tonight's production of Rent (A Little Bit) Live.
The Fox show reunited the entire original Broadway cast for the finale (which was also the only live portion of the show due to star Brennin Hunt's broken foot), and we openly wept. That's not an exaggeration or hyperbole or anything but the full truth. Give us Idina Menzel singing "Seasons of Love" in any way and we are gonna tear up, so give us Idina Menzel surrounded by the entire new and old cast singing "Seasons of Love" together and we're done for.
The live portion of the show included Mimi's (Tinashe) near-death, during which Roger (Brennin Hunt) had to sit with his foot propped up on a chair. We would have watched the entire show like this (just saying), but the sudden switch to live did bring a new sort of energy to even that almost devastating scene. Mimi lived obviously, and everyone went into a beautiful rendition of "No Day But Today" before being joined by the entire ensemble on stage.
Then, a screen suddenly lifted, revealing the original Broadway cast, including Menzel (Maureen), Anthony Rapp (Mark), Adam Pascal (Roger), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Mimi), Jesse L. Martin (Collins), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel), Fredi Walker (Joanne), and Taye Diggs (Benny), lined up to sing "Seasons of Love." They were then joined by their Rent Live counterparts, who held their hands or wrapped arms or just stared into each other's eyes as they sang (with some help from Keala Settle) and it was beautiful. All we wanted. Truly high quality tears.
That ending was absolutely worth the struggles of the majority of the show, though we'll say again that we wish they had done it live however they could have done it anyway. Oh well! We'll take what live Rent we got.
Rent Live aired on Fox.