Like many of us, political satirist Randy Rainbow has been counting down the days (even the minutes) until Donald Trump leaves the White House.
The day before the Donald’s departure, Rainbow has reassembled some of his most popular characters from over 100 videos to perform this musical sendoff, a parody of the iconic “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical RENT.
Throughout Trump’s time in the political spotlight, Rainbow has provided dozens of spot-on, uber-clever music video parodies skewering the Trumpster.
Taking the melodies from Broadway and pop culture and meshing them with sharp-as-a-tack lyrics, Rainbow has served up hilarious helpings of biting commentary on Trump and his orange misdeeds.
Today, Rainbow and company remember the “Seasons of Trump” the country has had to endure for the past 2,102,400 minutes.
Two million a hundred two thousand four hundred minutes With just one president so unhinged and unfit Two million a hundred two thousand four hundred minutes How do you measure four years of this sh*t?
In scandals, impeachments, in porn stars, in Scaramuccis In rallies, in insurrections, in flies In two million a hundred two thousand four hundred minutes How do you measure four years of the lies?
Along the way, we’re reminded of some of the outrageousness that was the Trump administration.
That includes Trump’s declaration as ‘a very stable genius,’ plus a rogues gallery of characters like Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kelly McEnany.
Rainbow also manages to mention pee tapes, fake news, COVID, covfefes, and ‘alternative facts.’
It all culminates in a Mariah-inspired high note and a whispered ‘bye gurl.’
His most recent musical missive took aim at the insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol building. Co-opting the tune of ‘Tradition’ from Fiddler on the Roof, Rainbow’s ‘Sedition!’ garnered over 2 million views in less than a week.
As Saturday Night Live has found, there’s always something in politics to lampoon, so here’s hoping Rainbow continues to entertain us even without the Orange one in office.
The latest installment of live television presentations of Broadway musicals arrived last night as theater fans sat down to take in the 1996 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning RENT by the gone-too-soon Jonathan Larson on FOX TV.
It’s important to note that Brennin Hunt, the actor in the lead role of Roger, broke his ankle near the end of the dress rehearsal on Saturday. With no understudy waiting in the wings, FOX decided to (mostly) air the recorded dress rehearsal.
Cast member Jennifer Leigh Warren shared on Facebook that Sunday evening’s presentation was, indeed, live for the last two segments (from the parents’ calls to the end). The final scene was restaged with Hunt sitting with his foot propped up and the other actors working around him.
For those interested, while the filmed dress rehearsal made up much of the presentation Sunday night, the live audience in the studio were still treated to ‘concert’ performances during the telecast. FOX has posted several clips from the production as well as the ‘concert’ performances on YouTube here. Check it out to see what the studio audience saw while we viewed the telecast.
Some say it’s unfair to judge dress rehearsal performances that were never intended to be seen as some performers might have been ‘holding back’ or saving themselves for the real deal Sunday night.
However, I’m not sure how much of that might be true. The dress rehearsal was performed in front of a live audience, and having been an actor on Broadway and in national touring companies since the mid-1980s, I don’t know any folks who hold back in a final dress rehearsal with 1,100 people in attendance.
In any case, the version that landed last night on FOX was very enjoyable, if a bit uneven.
For those who are new to the piece, RENT is a musical riff on the classic opera, La Boheme, adapted to tell the story of a group of struggling artists inhabiting a loft on the lower East Side of Manhattan
It’s amazing that RENT was even on television when you consider much of the play centers on a two queer relationships: one between a black man, Tom Collins (the amazing Brandon Victor Dixon), and a drag queen named Angel (played by RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Valentina); the second pairing the pragmatic Joanne (Kiersey Clemons) with flighty, flirty performance artist, Maureen (Vanessa Hudgens).
Rounding out the principal players are the aforementioned Hunt, whose Roger falls in love with Mimi (R&B singer Tinashe), Jordan Fisher as Mark, and their longtime friend turned landlord, Benny (singer Mario).
Overall, the production won the day with creative staging, excellent lighting and some tremendous performances.
Brandon Victor Dixon’s powerful, gut-punch reprise of “I’ll Cover You” was undeniable. If folks were ‘holding back’ for dress rehearsal, they forgot to tell Dixon. Raw, vocally on point, emotionally open – this is what RENT is about. Easily one of the high points of the production.
Also, “Will I?” was beautifully staged with the cameras following Mark throughout the ‘city’ as layer upon layer of voices cried out,
building into a cacophony of personal prayers.
The fun and flirtatious “Take Me or Leave Me” gave Clemons and Hudgens a chance to bring the heat, and bring it they did.
A few quick take-aways:
Jordan Fisher’s “Mark” showed off some lithe dance moves in the show-stopping ‘La Vie Boheme.’
Mario landed with a solid “You’ll See.”
Broadway veteran Keala Settle delivered rich vocals and heart necessary to bring “Seasons of Love” to life.
Prior to his show-stopping “I’ll Cover You,” seeing Tom Collins climb in bed with his sick lover, Angel, was a powerful visual.
Vanessa Hudgens was totally game for Maureen’s performance art piece, “Over The Moon,” head thrashes and all.
There was a fun ‘in-joke’ during a flea market shopping scene where a sweater that looked like original Broadway cast member Anthony Rapp’s iconic costume was held up, and the shoppers gave a quick ‘oh no.’
I wish we’d seen more of Sonya Tayeh’s terrific choreography. At times the camera would pull back, and we’d see there was some great stuff going on in the background. Her staging for “Contact” was a highpoint.
And having the entire original Broadway cast appear at the end for the finale reprise of “Seasons of Love” was another emotional highlight.
There were some quibbles to be had:
Valentina, while game, was not vocally on point for “Today 4 You” and “I’ll Cover You.”
The production could have used a greater sense of urgency at times (Mr. Hunt and Tinashe, I’m looking at you). “Light My Candle” needed more flirtation in their ‘cat and mouse’ chase.
The constant camera movement might have undercut the aesthetic weight of the acting, cutting away too quick at times.
But, on a whole, RENT: Live was powerfully moving. And, the show put queer relationships and the AIDS epidemic back in front of a television audience.
You hear those first chords and you know the song.
In advance of the upcoming Fox TV broadcast of Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning Rent, Fox invited fans from around the world to contribute their voices to a new music video of Rent’s second act opener, “Seasons of Love.”
The resulting ‘virtual choir’ is an amazing metaphor for the universal message of the song.
Tune in January 27 for the live production on Fox TX starring Vanessa Hudgens, Brandon Victor Dixon, Jordan Fisher, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Valentina, and more.
Tony Nominee Keala Settle, who you know as “the bearded lady” in The Greatest Showman singing “This Is Me,” gets the honors of singing the final solo of “Seasons of Love” in the TV presentation.
Loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème, the musical tells the story of a group of young artists struggling to survive in New York City’s East Village in the early 1990s under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
The show features two romantic couples – one gay, one straight – living with HIV.
The original Broadway production was nominated for 10 Tony Awards (winning four), 10 Drama Desk Awards (winning six) and was honored with the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
• Broadway hunk & ‘Daddyhunt’ star Jim Newman (above) demonstrates that even Santa’s elves have to do laundry some time…
• San Diego Pride is so successful, the organization has announced that it will be donating more than $170,000 to 59 different LGBTQ-serving charities and organizations around the world.
• Ann Coulter offered her description of the Democratic Party on Laura Ingraham’s show Tuesday night: “The Muslims and the Jews and the various exotic sexual groups and the black church ladies with the college queers”
On Ingraham’s Fox News show, Ann Coulter describes her version of the Dem party
“I mean you have the Muslims and the Jews and the various exotic sexual groups and the black church ladies with the college queers … you must hate white men. It’s the one thing they have in common” pic.twitter.com/xGWe0wH2uP
• Frankie Grande teams up with his sis, Ariana, for this take on the Act Two opener from RENT, “Seasons of Love,” as part of the #RentSingALong initiative celebrating the upcoming live presentation of the hit musical
RENT will air live on January 27 at 8/7c on FOX. Hit play below.
Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), Brandon Victor Dixon (who killed in in this year’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live!), and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Valentina have been announced for Fox’s 2019 live production of the Broadway hit musical, Rent.
Dixon will play ‘Tom Collins,’ Hudgens will take on ‘Maureen,’ and Valentina will portray the cross-dressing ‘Angel.’
Valentina becomes the first drag queen to be cast in a primetime live musical production. She was a fan favorite in Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, winning Miss Congeniality.
Rent will also feature Kiersey Clemons (Hearts Beat Loud) as ‘Joanne,’ Jordan Fisher (Hamilton) as ‘Mark,’ Brennin Hunt (Nashville) as ‘Roger,’ Mario (Empire) as ‘Benjamin,’ and recording artist Tinashe (Dancing With the Stars) as ‘Mimi.’
Tony Award nominee Keala Settle, of “This Is Me” fame in the movie The Greatest Showman, will also be featured in the production singing the solo from “Seasons of Love.”
Original Broadway director Michael Greif will again helm the Pulitzer Prize-winning Jonathan Larson musical.
The 1996 rock musical, loosely inspired by Puccini’s La Bohème, was an instant smash hit and was responsible for launching the careers of original cast members Idina Menzel, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Taye Diggs, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Jesse L. Martin.
The televised production is set to air January 27, 2019.
• After a week in NYC I gained 4 pounds eating at my favorite restaurants, and now here’s fitness trainer Ramses Principe (above) being so good with his prepped lunch and all. #GymInspiration
• Fox has announced a new, live musical production of RENT, the ground-breaking rock adaptation of La Boheme that unflinchingly takes on HIV/AIDS, gay and lesbian relationships, trans identity, and substance abuse. Announced air date is January 27, 2019.
• Openly gay Teen Wolf star Charlie Carver posted a naked in nature pic and folks were seriously having it.
• Twitter is considering expanding the 140 character limit on tweets to 280. Selected twitter accounts are getting to try it out. It’s making some folks feel very empowered 🙂
Oh shit I was selected as one of the special ones to tweet in 280 characters. HAHAHA suck it losers, I feel like God right now. Wait, I’m not done, I would also like to say that all these words I’m typing right now are useless and I wasted them just because I CAN. These too, lmao
• New York filmmaker/actor Brock Yurich shares details about his next project, Test. The film follows a young amateur bodybuilder in the Appalachians struggling with his sexuality. Those tensions are pushed further when his coach puts him on a heavy regimen of steroids and a path of exploitation to pay for his competition costs.
• A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 57% of Americans disagree with Donald Trump and do not think NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem should be fired.
• This 16 year-old got a big round of applause when he came out on live TV as bisexual.
16-year-old Andy got a massive round of applause for coming out as bisexual on our #GenZ programme. He’d never said it publicly. 👏👏🏽👏🏿 pic.twitter.com/06a8w5oFA7
“Rent” tells the story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil, under the shadow of AIDS. Set in New York City’s gritty East Village, the show is a re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème.”
With the estate of the late original playwright Jonathan Larson, Marc Platt — who worked on Fox’s “Grease: Live” musical,” “La La Land” and “Wicked” — will executive produce the event. Other executive producers are Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine.
More details and casting will be announced later. No premiere date has been set for “Rent.”
The live musical trend at the broadcast networks started in recent years at NBC, which kicked off the craze with Carrie Underwood’s “Sound Of Music Live,” which was then followed by “Peter Pan Live,” “The Wiz Live,” and most recently, “Hairspray Live.” In the works at NBC is “Jesus Christ Superstar,” which will air on Easter Sunday 2018, plus “A Few Good Men” and “Bye Bye Birdie,” both of which do not have airdates yet. Later this month, ABC will air a TV movie of “Dirty Dancing,” though the project is not live.
I was on Broadway the year RENT opened, and I remember it was all anyone could talk about. It was the coolest thing anyone had seen on the Great White Way (until the next coolest thing came around).
The show features leading characters in same-sex relationships as well as shining a bright spotlight on the AIDS epidemic. For it’s time, it was quite the groundbreaking piece of theater.
Watch the original Broadway cast perform on the 1996 Tony Awards below.