‘Rent’ Team Breaks Down Angel’s Fever Dream in ‘Contact’

  • Variety
‘Rent’ Team Breaks Down Angel’s Fever Dream in ‘Contact’
Angel Dumott Schunard’s swan song in “Rent” is the double-entendre infused “Contact,” a high-concept number that features the whole company. The song begins seemingly just as a representation of the various couples’ sex lives but soon turns into a heartbreaking solo as Angel enters a fever dream and then dies of complications from HIV/AIDS. Jonathan Larson originally conceived the number to sound as a club track, which meant relying on pre-recorded music, rather than the live orchestra, during the stage productions. Since the goal was to honor but also enhance that formative vision, the team behind Fox’s live broadcast staging took the musical’s lead when it came to utilizing a single, central set piece. But to better focus audience attention on Angel’s state of mind, the number opens on a close-up of her face, punctuating the emotional dichotomy of her desire to live with her dark fate.
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