Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes!!! If you know what that means besides the number of minutes in a year, then this bit of news will have you singing out loud. FOX announced it’s staging a live production of the hit musical Rent. It coincides with the 20th anniversary of its Broadway run.
“We are so honored to partner with the estate of the brilliant Jonathan Larson and producer Marc Platt on one of the great musicals of our time,” said Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen and CEOs, Fox Television Group. “The title is so iconic, the music is so beloved, and the themes are as meaningful today as they were when the show first premiered on Broadway. With Marc overseeing this project, we are sure it will have a profound impact on the legions of fans who know and love this musical.”
The rock musical by Jonathan Larson is loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It follows a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
The Broadway production closed on September 7, 2008, grossing over $280 million from 5,123 performances during its 12-year run. In addition to winning a Pulitzer Prize, it won four Tony Awards including Best Musical in 1996.
Rent isn’t the only live musical FOX is developing. An upcoming three-hour adaptation of A Christmas Story is heading this holiday season. The film focused on a Midwestern boy named Ralphie who wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. The movie was first adapted to a Broadway stage in 2012.
” ‘A Christmas Story’ is one of the most beloved holiday films of all time-audiences have made a yearly ritual of re-watching it-and we are so thrilled to have Marc leading the charge in bringing the musical version of that film to television,” David Madden, president of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Company, says in a statement. “The extraordinarily gifted Pasek and Paul were instrumental in transposing the movie to the stage, and we believe the transition to live television event will be just as entertaining for viewers.”
FOX has a hit or miss track record with their musical adaptations. Grease: Live scored boffo ratings while The Passion and The Rocky Horror Picture Show underwhelmed. I’m optimistic Rent Live! will follow in Grease‘s footsteps instead of the latter two.
Which of the two musicals are you looking forward to most? Sound off below.