'Rent' Live On Fox: Jordan Fisher Stars In Role Of His Dreams

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24 January 2019

LIVE, SUNDAY, Jan. 27, 8/7c

By Kellie Freeze

When FOX airs its live presentation of Rent on Sunday, it will be the culmination of a dream for star Jordan Fisher. The 24-year-old — who has already found acclaim as a recording artist, appeared in Broadway’s Hamilton, won Season 25 of Dancing With the Stars and recently hosted Dancing With the Stars: Juniors — reveals, “Rent was the show that made me want to pursue this industry. It was something that really moved me as a kid.”

Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent is loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème and tells the story of artists struggling to follow their dreams in a bohemian New York City East Village neighborhood at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. “It’s a story of ultimately figuring out how to measure the love that you not only give, but the love that you receive,” says Fisher. “Everybody’s broke. Nobody really has anything, but they have each other, and that’s what the show ultimately celebrates.”

One role in Rent has always stood out to Fisher: Mark Cohen, the musical’s narrator, who has eschewed his upper-class Jewish upbringing for life as a poor documentarian whose camera captures the lives of his friends after he decides to document the gritty reality of life and “shoot without a script.”

The iconic role has been played by industry veterans Anthony Rapp and Neil Patrick Harris, and Fisher hopes to infuse Mark with fresh perspective. “I wanted to be the first Mark Cohen of color,” he says. “I’m mixed, and I’m proud of all of my heritages. Why can’t Mark Cohen also be a person of color that was born into privilege in upstate New York and chose to move down to Manhattan to choose the life that he wanted to live?”

Rent’s all-star ensemble cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Kiersey Clemons, Brandon Victor Dixon, Brennin Hunt, Mario, Tinashe and Valentina, plus Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman) in a special role to perform the seminal song “Seasons of Love.”

Fisher can’t wait until showtime so he can introduce Rent to a new generation and present a fresh staging for the musical’s loyal fans. “The first thing you see and the first thing you hear is Mark steppin’ out and setting the scene,” he shares. “I’m excited to set the tone and get the energy right.” Until then, Fisher will live, breathe and rehearse the show that’s been such an integral part of his life. “I’ve just been blasting Rent in my car. I’ve been singing all the songs in the shower,” he says.
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