After one of its leads breaks foot, how did Fox’s ‘Rent Live’ go on with the show?

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

After Brennin Hunt, who plays key character Roger, broke his foot during a dress rehearsal Saturday, Fox had to scramble for an alternate plan for its “Rent Live” television production of the Broadway musical.

  • According to Fox, Hunt was injured during a dress rehearsal of the production Saturday.
  • The rehearsal was recored “live to tape” as a backup, which has become common practice with live television musicals.
  • “Rent Live” cast members had no understudies or standbys.
  • According to reporters at the rehearsal, the show was halted with about 15 minutes to go and the announcement was made about Hunt’s injury.
  • His injury occurred off camera and during a “commercial break.”
  • After a 30 minute delay, the show resumed taping with Hunt remaining seated and missing a shoe, as his ankle was swelling.
  • On Sunday night, Hunt performed from a wheelchair in front of a live studio audience as the taped version was fed live over the network.
  • For Sunday night’s live production, the traditional “Seasons of Love” curtain call switched to the live feed, with Hunt seated for the segment, which included cast members from the original Broadway run of the show.
  • Saturday’s rehearsal was done in full costume, hair and makeup and included a studio audience brought in for the occasion.
  • On Sunday’s airing, the “previously recorded” disclaimer appeared at the beginning of the credits.
  • In addition, before the first commercial break, the cast appeared on camera explaining why the production was airing a taped version and promising a “reworked” live finale that would include Hunt.
  • Taped backups are also used in the event of technical problems — during “Grease Live” the production had to switch to the taped version for approximately 8 seconds due to an audio problem.
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