Sunday night's performance of Rent: Live was anything but predictable, but it worked. Although it took a little while for Vanessa Hudgens to appear in Rent: Live, the wait was so worth it. Everyone on Twitter thinks Vanessa Hudgens killed her Rent: Live opening number and they're so right — she was incredible.
It took Hudgens about one hour and thirty minutes to finally appear in the musical, but she proved to be a breath of fresh air into the very long performance. Hudgens, who played the character, Maureen, in the semi-live staging of the iconic musical. And she arrived with a bang. Hudgens' first appearance in Rent: Live was at Maureen's rally, where she stole the show.
Hudgens, who was one of the more notable actors cast in Rent: Live had a lot of hype surrounding her role — and she lived up to the hype. If anyone had any expectations about her performance, she certainly met those expectations during her initial performance. People on Twitter could not get over her incredible voice and the theatricality of her performance.
This was a far cry from her debut in High School Musical 10 years ago. It's obvious that Hudgens has "graduated" to bigger and better performances. And people are definitely sold on her.
Even people who were initially reluctant about Hudgens in the role of Maureen seemed to be obsessed with her once the show was over.
And most people thought that she carried the show on her own.
Even Hudgens knew that there was a lot of pressure on her for her role as Maureen. "Vocally, emotionally, it's a tough role," Hudgens told Billboard in December.
In spite of this, Hudgens told Playbill earlier this week that she was excited to bring her own interpretation to the character. Hudgens said:
Jonathan Larson's whole thing was about finding his true, authentic voice as an artist, and that inspires me so much, so I've been trying to take the same approach in finding who Maureen is to me and making sure that is true. She is a drama queen, loud and proud, and loves being the center of attention. And she is outspoken and unapologetic about it. I grew up doing musical theatre and part of the reason I loved it was, of course, the shows and the music, but it was really about being the center of attention.
Hudgens said that she actually identifies with her Rent: Live character. "We fit hand-in-hand nicely," she told Playbill.
That was obvious during the broadcast of Rent: Live on Sunday night. Hudgens physically embodied Maureen, and completely committed to selling the character. You couldn't help but to fall in love with her over and over again. She held so much power in her voice in the production.
Although some people might have not enjoyed Rent: Live, one thing was easily agreed upon — Hudgens was born to play Maureen and stole the show during Rent: Live.