5 Fun Behind-the-Scenes Moments from 'Rent: Live'
Photo credit: Kevin Estrada/FOX
Every Rent: Live actor who was on Soundstage 16 at the FOX lot on Sunday will never forget the experience of the show and the last-minute obstacles they were faced with. It will always be something that binds them together because they never expected to have the event play out the way it did.
I was at the Saturday night dress rehearsal that wound up being most of the Sunday night broadcast that America watched. I was invited as a member of the press. The environment was electric all the way up until the moment Brennin Hunt was injured when the show took a pause. Executive producer Marc Platt calmly came to the stage and made a brief announcement saying there had been an injury and Brennin had rolled his ankle.
As a former dancer, I know how much that smarts and it can take a bit to shake off. However, the producers took precautions right away, elevated his ankle and Brennin finished the show on the table. The cast adapted quickly and I wasn't too worried about Brennin when I left the lot that night. I figured a night of rest, a couple of extra Advil and adrenaline from the live show would get him through Sunday night.
As we all know, that turned out differently than we expected. However, here are a couple of fun things you didn't know about the show that I picked up on from behind the scenes. It took a village to put on this magnificent show.
1. There were 1300 audience members in attendance — that's how big the soundstage was. The audience members ranged from people who signed up for tickets through On-Camera Audiences, family members and friends of the cast and invited press.
2. If you loved the choreography of Sonya Tayeh, then you would have loved the choreography of the camera crew. The camera work was so quick that they often had to make the shot, then hide behind a column, so they wouldn't be caught in the next scene. There was often two grown men and a large piece of camera equipment hiding behind the set. It was amazing to watch.
3. The cast was very relaxed during the final dress rehearsal. They were interacting with the audience members, shaking hands and waving to people during commercial breaks. They felt ready for this show.
4. The set was gorgeous. Everywhere you looked there were levels for the actors to play with. Sonya and director Michael Greif did a great job of utilizing every inch of set designer Jason Sherwood's creation.
Because the set was so large, we had TV monitors in each section to watch the scenes we couldn't see from our seats. If the action was right in front of us, the monitors were turned off so we wouldn't be caught looking up at the monitors. That was also an element that was cleverly choreographed.
5. The quick changes for the ensemble were numerous and had to be done in the blink of an eye. It was impressive to see them move nimbly across the big stage basically ripping off any outwear to make their fast changes easier when they got backstage. In my interview with Hannahlei Cabanilla, she mentioned that her time on So You Think You Can Dance prepared her for the fast pace of Rent: Live.