Brandon Victor Dixon, Vanessa Hudgens, Keala Settle, Jordan Fisher Set for Fox's Rent Live!

TravisOKC
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I really wish they would have cast one of the girls from Riverdale (Madelaine Petsch, Camila Mendes, or Lili Reinhart) as Maureen.

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Why would you cast women who can't sing?  There is only one woman on Riverdale that can sing without tons of autotune, and that would be Josie (Ashleigh Murray).

TravisOKC
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There are videos of them all singing and not on Riverdale.  

Camila: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijVw3QS_6Jk

Lili: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSx-WgKF1Os

And yes, Ashleigh Murray can sing...actually all the cast is incredibly talented.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmkhdjYsQaI

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DeepVSexyWitch2 said: "Tinashe is one of the only good things about this casting. The most talented pop girl by far and is paid nothing but dust by the general public."

I had never heard her before so I just listened to her latest album on Tidal. I must say I liked it a lot. I’m interested to hear her take on Out Tonight, since there’s nothing similar to that on her album. 

 

 

 

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SomethingPeculiar
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It's nice that Michael Grief is returning to RENT, but it would have been nice for someone new to take a stab at reexamining it with fresh eyes. (Not Chris Columbus!)

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Miles2Go2
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This seems horribly miscast. I’m a fan of Fisher, but he doesn’t strike me as a Mark. Not because he’s African American, but because Mark always strikes me as sorta nerdy and not sexy. That’s not the function of his character in the show. Meanwhile, I think Fisher is not nerdy and is sex on a stick (I admit I’m smitten). Of course, it’s not callled acting for nothing so maybe he’ll surprise.

As far as the rest of the casting, only Victor Dixon inspires hope although I admit I’m not familiar with some of these people. I was worried they’d ruin one of my favorite shows and this almost completely confirms it.
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gypsy101
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DMsquared2 said: "I think casting someone from "RuPaul's Drag Race" as Angel is an inspired choiceand a good move in terms of publicity but...Valentina?”

i was surprised by this casting but i agree, I think someone like Aja would have been better

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Mister Matt said: "

That's an odd way of looking at the character. Is it because he's traditionally played by a white actor and is therefore discounted as being irrelevant to the plot? I ask because while I've never personally seen a POC play Mark (though we do know he's Jewish), I have seen white actors play Tom Collins and Benny without it appearing to upset the character dynamics of the story. Why does Mark specificallyhave to be gay, an addict or sick to be a central character in the show? Is it that you believe the book itself should be changed to something Larson didn't intend (Larson was himself white, straight, sober, HIV negative and Jewish) or that Mark's (i.e. Larson's) issues simply aren't valid? Mark's story has always been about questioning his own artistic integrity and his bonds of friendships. His struggle with those things as well as the effects of the struggles of his friends are "his fight". Why would anyone assume the events of the plot have nothing to do with him? He's either directly involved or someone he loves is directly involved. What is the "making it about you" thing?

I think you misunderstand me. Mark is the closest thing Rent has to a main character, a viewpoint character, etc. He IS a central character in the show, and I see one of his central conflicts as to be his discomfort there. That is something that Mark, as a character, wrestles with - his place - and to my reading that is very much influenced by his privileged. It's a really interesting, really relevant storyline.

As for what I'm talking about, the Life Support Scene and how it's framed (Not that there is anything wrong with Mark going, but his obvious awkwardness. Metaphorically shining a spotlight on the ways he doesn't fit in). 

Or the scene with the homeless woman ("Hey artist, you got a dollar?" where she blatantly calls him out. 

Or if you want to get more blatant, from a song Larson cut,

Mark: he says he doesn't need support groups
Rodger: I say he'll bring his camera
Mark: He doesn't know why I go when I'm not sick or queer
Rodger: Footage to build a career


I will spare you a full essay, but yeah. Mark's conflict is about his place in the world, connecting with the world, how he can affect the world. Part of that, usually, is the subtext of Mark's privilege (In some ways. The only really textual privilege is the fact that he's straight and HIV negative.) Jordan Fisher as Mark changes that subtext and I'm really interested to see the result.

So, to repeat; it is not that I think Mark is irrelevant, it's that part of Mark's conflict is that he feels irrelevant. I, as the viewer, find that very compelling and I wonder how that will change with non-traditional casting. 

Updated On: 10/29/18 at 10:22 PM
VintageSnarker
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DeepVSexyWitch2 said: "Tinashe is one of the only good things about this casting. The most talented pop girl by far and is paid nothing but dust by the general public."

She is the only one I'm considering watching this for and most likely I will just wait until they upload clips of her songs somewhere. This just seems horribly miscast. 

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First off, there is nothing in this casting that is going to change the fact that this is a terrible idea for a live musical. Especially in the hands of Fox. They might have proven they could kill it with Grease BUT we can't also then ignore that they can also bomb miserably when it comes to adapting most controversial material as we saw with Rocky Horror. Rent has already been toned down for a more family audience once with the movie and it was terrible. Stop trying to make Rent something else.

As for the casting, the two things that really jump out at me most is Hudgens and Valentina. And I'm not saying in a good way.  Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen feels more like they wanted to cast her no matter what but when she was Mimi at the Hollywood Bowl, it did not go over the best and there would only be backlash against doing that once again so they cast her in the only other role she could.

And I am shocked that of all the possible talent over the years that they could have pulled from Drag Race (the perfect place to cast the role from BTW) that they went with Valentina which has always been a polarizing person with fans after a mix of her elimination and then the drama with her winning Miss Congeniality.

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jacobsnchz14 said: "My gut was telling me it would've been Ben Platt, plus that's who most fans wanted, but I'm interested in Fisher taking on the role. He also has done very well for himself since Grease Live."

I do like the idea of Ben Platt. But, seeing as Ben Platt's father is producing this,  it would never have happened. His son is a great actor and he knows it and if memory serves, I remember reading somewhere where the father said he wouldn't cast Ben in a show he's producing. Reason being is that he doesn't want it to look like Ben got cast because his father's the producer. 

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Islander_fan said: "jacobsnchz14 said: "My gut was telling me it would've been Ben Platt, plus that's who most fans wanted, but I'm interested in Fisher taking on the role. He also has done very well for himself since Grease Live."

I do like the idea of Ben Platt. But, seeing as Ben Platt's father is producing this, it would never have happened. His son is a great actor and he knows it and if memory serves, I remember reading somewhere where the father said he wouldn't cast Ben in a show he's producing. Reason being is that he doesn't want it to look like Ben got cast because his father's the producer.
"

Ben Platt and Brother Platt were both in Wicked (which is produced by Daddy Platt).

Brother Platt was also in Jesus Christ Superstar live thing that Daddy Platt produced.

I doubt Ben or Brother Platt have ever really spent time in an audition room waiting in line.  

Pretty sure that Ben could have been Mark if he wanted and I wouldn't be surprised if Brother Platt was in the RENT ensemble. 

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Updated On: 10/30/18 at 12:03 AM
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The ages are all over. This is gonna be messy and I can’t wait! But does seem an odd choice for a LIVE version during the holidays...
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Scarlet Leigh said: "And I am shocked that of all the possible talent over the years that they could have pulled from Drag Race (the perfect place to cast the role from BTW) that they went with Valentina which has always been a polarizing person with fans after a mix of her elimination and then the drama with her winning Miss Congeniality."

I heard that Adore Delano also auditioned for Angel, so it wouldn't surprise me if any other Ru Girls were considered for the part. I agree that Valentina is an interesting choice, but I'm not writing her off just yet. 

Sondheimite said: "Pretty sure that Ben could have been Mark if he wanted and I wouldn't be surprised if Brother Platt was in the RENT ensemble."

Could Ben's contract with Netflix for "The Politician" have prevented him from appearing on a different network in a major role? That was my first thought when I saw he wasn't going to be playing Mark as he seemed like not only an obvious choice, but a perfect choice. 

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But does seem an odd choice for a LIVE version during the holidays...

January 27th is long after the holidays.  

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LuPita2 said: "But does seem an odd choice for a LIVE version during the holidays...

January 27th is long after the holidays.
"

Tell that to my neighbor who had Christmas lights up till March

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Islander_fan said: "jacobsnchz14 said: "My gut was telling me it would've been Ben Platt, plus that's who most fans wanted, but I'm interested in Fisher taking on the role. He also has done very well for himself since Grease Live."

I do like the idea of Ben Platt. But, seeing as Ben Platt's father is producing this, it would never have happened. His son is a great actor and he knows it and if memory serves, I remember reading somewhere where the father said he wouldn't cast Ben in a show he's producing. Reason being is that he doesn't want it to look like Ben got cast because his father's the producer.
"

It’s just not fair

rjm516
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I agree with the doubt about a nonwhite Mark. His whole dramatic arc is realizing that his privilege shelters him from the problems of his friends that he exploits for his 'art'. Maybe they'll have his family support/money be more prominent and make him more of a poverty tourist than a white savior, but that vibe of his is important.

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rjm516 said: "I agree with the doubt about a nonwhite Mark. His whole dramatic arc is realizing that his privilege shelters him from the problems of his friends that he exploits for his 'art'. Maybe they'll have his family support/money be more prominent and make him more of a poverty tourist than a white savior, but that vibe of his is important."

As I stated above, I have my own concerns about Fisher as Mark, but not because he is African American. Why does anyone assume that an African American character couldn’t come from a life of privilege? 

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Of course he could and that's why I said I hope they focus on other aspects to make him stand out as not suffering like all his friends are. 

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Mark is suffering though, right? Although it’s by choice. He is the definition of a starving artist.
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rjm516 said: "Of course he could and that's why I said I hope they focus on other aspects to make him stand out as not suffering like all his friends are."

Also, Jordan Fisher has a multi ethnic make up, not strictly African American. I don’t understand how his casting affects anything.

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His whole dramatic arc is realizing that his privilege shelters him from the problems of his friends that he exploits for his 'art'.

No, it's not.  That's not it at all.

Why does anyone assume that an African American character couldn’t come from a life of privilege? 

Seriously.  Did they suddenly forget about Joanne?  

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greensgreens
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If race doesn't matter and Mark can be anything, why are Benny and Collins exclusively cast with African Americans (at least in every professional production I have seen)? I'd be ok with a diverse cast had they gone all-out on the idea. Give us a non-AA Benny or Collins. In fact, a classic WASPY or Asian Benny would be really interesting.

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Valentina3 said: "LuPita2 said: "But does seem an odd choice for a LIVE version during the holidays...

January 27th is long after the holidays.
"

Tell that to my neighbor who had Christmas lights up till March
"

 

I mean... the show is partly set during the holidays...