‘Rent’ is slated for Michigan City stage
The rock musical “Rent” opens June 21 at the Dunes Summer Theatre in Michigan City.
With music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, and based on the opera “La Boheme,” “Rent” is the story of a group of young starving artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York City’s Lower East Side.
“Rent” represents a tipping point in Broadway history and in many ways it reinvented the Broadway musical.
The show reached legendary status when Larson died at his apartment after the final dress rehearsal of the off-Broadway production in 1996.
The musical evolved out of an idea by Billy Aronson, a Yale-trained playwright who loved opera, to write a musical updating of “La Boheme.”
He wanted the show to be about people, like himself, struggling to make art under lousy conditions.
Larson eventually took over the concept with Aronson’s approval, and the show became “Rent.”
It went on to receive the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Obie Award, the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
The Dunes Summer Theatre production is directed by George Maslankowski with musical direction by Jim Mollin and choreography by Larry Payne and Marie Crist.
The cast includes Brandon Hagerman, Kristyana Murray, Nick Murray, Allie Hillman, Rachel Livingston, John Mark Edwards, Brandon Williams and Jeremiah Souza.
The chorus includes Brandon Tau, Gabriella Marchese, Yolanda Agosto, Sophia Settle, Allison Colgrove, Abby Schmidt and Geoff Bach.
“Rent” runs to July 14 at the Dunes Summer Theatre, 288 Shady Oak Drive, Michigan City. Call (219) 879-7509 for reservations or more information.
Shakespeare at Central Park Plaza returns
Chicago Street Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” at Central Park Plaza in downtown Valparaiso on July 12 and 13.
“The Comedy of Errors” is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays.
It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with much of the humor coming from slapstick, mistaken identity, puns and wordplay.
The play is the story of two sets of identical twins who were accidentally separated at birth.
Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus.
When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and demonic possession.
The production is directed by Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano and the cast includes Eric Brant, Braden Cleary, Patty Bird, Peyton Daily, Grant Fitch, Mark Baer and Dan Matern.
Along with the free lawn seating at Central Park Plaza, there will be reserved lawn seating but chairs are not included.
“The Comedy of Errors” also will be staged indoors from July 19-27 at the Chicago Street Theatre, 154 W. Chicago St., Valparaiso.
To reserve lawn seating for the outdoor performances or tickets for performances at the theater, call (2109) 464-1636.
Bob Craig is a freelance writer.