Just hours before the curtain is set to rise on Fox’s live staging of Rent, the network is scrambling to accommodate an injured cast member. Sources confirm that X Factor alum Brennin Hunt — who is set to play singer-songwriter Roger Davis in the production — suffered a broken ankle at Saturday’s dress rehearsal. But the show will go on.
A Fox insider tells TVLine that producers may work around Hunt’s injury by using pre-recorded segments. Some portions of the show will likely need to be re-staged to assist Hunt (who did not have an understudy).
In a joint statement, FOX Entertainment & 20th Century Fox Television said, “Last night during a live performance of Fox’s production of Rent, one of the actors, Brennin Hunt, was injured. But in the spirit of Rent, everyone – producers and cast, original and current — is dedicated to ensuring that tonight’s broadcast must, and will, go on.”
Added producer Julie Larson (sister of late Rent scribe Jonathan Larson): “The experience of putting together this beautiful new production of my brother’s work, while emotional, has been truly joyous for all of us. This new cast has embodied the spirit of the show from day one and they embraced Brennin with positive and uplifting love in his moment of need. Rent has always been about resilience and community. I speak from my heart when I say that we have a spectacular show for you tonight. We can’t wait for a new generation to experience Jonathan’s legacy.”
The Rent Live cast also includes Jordan Fisher (Grease: Live) as documentary filmmaker Mark Cohen, Tinashe (Dancing With the Stars) as night owl Mimi Marquez, Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert) as college professor Tom Collins, Valentina (RuPaul’s Drag Race) as drag queen Angel Dumott Schunard, Vanessa Hudgens (Grease Live!) as artist/activist Maureen Johnson, Kiersey Clemons (Angie Tribeca) as lawyer Joanne Jefferson and Mario (Empire) as traitor-to-the-cause Benjamin Coffin III.
UPDATE: During Rent‘s first commercial break, the cast appeared in a taped segment to inform the viewers that most of what they’re watching tonight is footage from Saturday’s dress rehearsal, during which Hunt’s injury occurred. Some parts will be performed live, though no additional clarification was offered.