‘Rent’ is Due at Point Park’s Playhouse (Wed., 3/13/24)

RENT (rock musical) with book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson. Conservatory Theatre Company at the Pittsburgh Playhouse PNC Theatre, March 13 – 17.

The show famously ran on Broadway for more than 12 years, winning the Pulitzer for Drama, and a Tony for Best Musical (among several others.) Just as famously, perhaps, its creator Jonathan Larson died the night before the show officially opened at the New York Theatre Workshop on January 26, 1996. Rent has become perhaps the most American “character musical” since A Chorus Line. But, of course, it is based on Puccini’s opera, La Boheme. Here, the musical eschews its French Restoration settings and underscores the desperate lives of modern day bohemians living in New York’s Greenwich Village; here, too, the threat of tuberculosis becomes the fear of HIV/AIDS. Yet, it all sings to the spirit of love-starved artists who, against unforgiving odds, mostly eke by. Point Park University’s Conservatory Theatre Company stages this modern classic with just four evening shows and two matinees. 7:30 p.m. PNC Theatre, 350 Forbes Ave., Downtown. (C.P.O.)  

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Prentiss Orr

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