There was a lot that went wrong during Fox's production of Rent: Live on Sunday night. The show was performed in front of a live audience in a huge studio, making it look like a huge rock concert. But people watching at home weren't too happy about it. Seriously, Twitter's annoyed with the Rent: Live audience noise — and they kind of have a point.
Rent: Live was supposed to be performed in front of a live audience and viewers at home on Sunday evening. But there was a slight change of plans. During dress rehearsals on Saturday, actor Brennin Hunt, who played Roger, broke his foot, according to E! News. This forced Fox to air a version of Rent: Live from dress rehearsal that previous day. Even without this super live element, the audience still made it seem like the musical was still performed live in some capacity.
But, viewers at home weren't too pleased with the audience at all. Some people felt like the audience took away from the significance of the performance. And a lot of people on Twitter thought that the audience made a little too much noise, which is sort of understandable. In a traditional musical theater setting, the audience isn't supposed to make noise — it's not a rock concert, it's a theater performance. And people on Twitter wanted to make that clear.
Some people even thought that the show's sound mixers were to blame — not the audience members themselves.
Others were just plain distracted from all of the distractions taking away from the actors and the music.
But one Twitter user who had been in the audience revealed that they were told to make noise. Interesting.
The live audience was put there for a reason, according to American Theatre. In previous versions of live TV musicals, some productions have gone without audience members — like NBC's Sound Of Music Live! in 2013. While other live TV musicals, like Fox's Grease Live in 2016, have chosen to have real people in the audience. Having the audience at Grease Live was seen as a success, according to American Theatre, and Fox wanted Rent: Live to be successful (which is understandable). So, there were around 1,500 people in the audience for this semi-live production, according to American Theatre.
Playwright, Kristoffer Diaz, who was hired to adapt the musical from the 1990's to live TV told American Theatre:
We have the experience of seeing what was so successful about Superstar and seeing what was so special about Grease and knowing our show is a highly theatrical show that is also a rock concert, and the original performance was a big rock concert. We're building something in service to both of those things.
Sure, some people could say that the audience's noise took away from the intimacy of such a topical show. But at the end of the day, it was a super fitting addition. You could sense how grand the show was with the audience there, and their involvement only enhanced the nature of the very epic performance.