The show must go on. Rent Live actor Brennin Hunt suffered an ankle injury during dress rehearsal on Saturday, January 26, hours before the show is set to air on Fox.
“Brennin broke his ankle 10 minutes before the end during dress rehearsal of Rent yesterday,” a source confirmed to Us Weekly of the singer, who plays Roger Davis, one of the leads in the musical. “They have no understudy.”
TV Line reports that producers may work around his injury by using pre-recorded segments and re-staging scenes.
“Last night during a live performance of Fox’s production of Rent, one of the actors, Brennin Hunt, was injured,” FOX Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television said in a statement to Us on Sunday, January 27. “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.”
Hunt shared an update on his Instagram Stories shortly before the show began. In one video he showed a costume designer sewing him into his pants, which he explained had to be customized to fit his cast. ”
“Breaking my foot last night was not fun but it’s been great being back on set with everybody,” he said in a second clip. “I love these people so much. They have showered me with love and kindness, which is the essence of this musical. I am just truly honored and blessed to be a part of this family and I hope you enjoy tonight.”
The Hollywood Reporter reports that stage director Michael Greif told the cast and crew on Saturday that Hunt had rolled his ankle and wanted to complete the performance.
The actor returned after a 30-minute delay with assistance from executive producer Marc Platt and costar Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Tom, and completed his performance on top of a table, with his right foot propped up on a chair. His right shoe had been removed as his ankle was swelling. According to THR, he “appeared crestfallen and upset” during a curtain call and was helped off the stage by Platt and a stage manager.
Julie Larson, sister of the show’s late composer Jonathan Larson, released a statement about the production and Hunt on Sunday afternoon.
“The experience of putting together this beautiful new production of my brother’s work, while emotional, has been truly joyous for all of us,” she said. “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.”
Rent Live will air on Fox on Sunday, January 27, at 8 p.m. ET.