It was never going to be easy.
With its almost entirely sung rock-opera score, its mature themes and language, 1990s punchlines and status as a cult phenomenon, “Rent” has become one of the hardest musicals to pull off. And it’s even harder to do on family-friendly broadcast television in 2019.
Fox’s live version of the Broadway musical about starving artists living in New York during the AIDS epidemic was disadvantaged from the moment it was announced. The choice a marked contrast to the network’s previous musicals, the delightful “Grease Live!” and the cringe-worthy “A Christmas Story Live!”