‘Rent’ 20 years later
The 20th anniversary tour of “Rent” comes to the Durham Performing Arts Center this week.
Jonathan Larson’s rock musical about young artists struggling to survive and thrive in NYC’s East Village when HIV/AIDS were wrecking lives and bodies won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony for best musical. Much has changed since the show’s premiere. There is a larger acceptance of the LGBTQ community and AIDS is no longer a death sentence. But reviewers have said the anniversary production is no time capsule.
Reviewers of the Dallas performance gave kudos in particular to Durham native and Shaw University graduate Aaron Harrington, saying: “Aaron Harrington, with his rich voice and easy demeanor, gives gravitas to the anarchist philosopher Tom Collins, who finds love unexpectedly with drag queen Angel Schunard (played with just enough restraint by David Merino).”
While another in that city wrote: “Marino’s chemistry with Aaron Harrington’s Tom Collins is lovely and believable, practically a requirement for any production of Rent to really work. As always, together they are the heart of the show, one that gets ripped out of your chest when Harrington’s beautiful, booming bass takes on the reprise of ‘I’ll Cover You’ in the second act.”
Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 11-13; 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. next Sunday, Oct. 16.
A spotlight on economic justice
The Justice Theatre Project’s mission is to “use the performing arts to bring to the fore of public attention the needs of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed,” so it makes sense that their season opened with “Nickel and Dimed.”
The show is based on the book by Barbara Ehrenreich, who for three months in the late ’90s worked for minimum wage as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide and Wal-Mart clerk in what she said was an attempt to see whether or not she could match income to expenses “as the truly poor attempt to do every day.”
Joan Holden’s stage adaptation has been called daring and provocative. The L.A. Times also noted that Ehrenreich’s sense of humor was “admirably translated from page to stage.”
The Justice Theatre Project’s production is at 3 p.m. Oct. 9 and 16, 8 p.m., Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 20-21 and 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at St. Francis of Assisi, Leesville Road, Raleigh.
There will be a discussion of fair wages led by Patrick McHugh of the N.C. Justice Center at 7 p.m. before the Oct. 15 show and led by Andrew Arden of the N.C. State University Caldwell Fellows at 2 p.m. before the Oct. 22 show.
Admission is $14 ($10 for students) on Oct. 9. The rest of the shows cost $22 for adults, $17 for senior citizens and members of the military, $10 for students. There are additional discounts for groups.
The visually impaired are admitted free and the show is audio described. Free childcare is provided for all patrons. Reservations required by email or phone.
Call 919-264-7089 or go to TheJusticeTheaterProject.org.
Need a fab costume?
Every other year Raleigh Little Theatre does a little de-cluttering by holding a costumes and accessories sale. This year’s has been postponed because of weather and will now be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, with a rain date from 2 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 16.
The sale will be in the parking lot behind the Stephenson Amphitheatre on Pogue Street.
RLT promises vintage hats, fun costumes and assorted accessories. Credit and debit cards accepted. No early birds.
3 at The Nasher
It’s a good week to check out The Nasher Museum’s exhibit “Southern Accent: Seeking the South in Contemporary Art,” if you haven’t made it to Durham yet. Or if you have, you might want to go back. Several times.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, for the museum’s highlights tour, Nicholas Stoia, an assistant professor in Duke’s Department of Music, will talk about the blues and how that music connects with the art and times on display.
Then at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, artist Bill Thelen will present a brief lesson and demonstration of ways to respond to art by sketching. Then you can try it out. The Nasher provides the drawing materials.
If you like sports, you might want to go at 2 p.m. next Sunday, Oct. 16, or at 11 a.m. Oct. 19. That’s when the Nasher Museum staff will lead a group discussion of “A Home on the Field” by Paul Cuadros, the story of how Latino immigrants brought soccer and the quest for a championship to Siler City. Portions of the conversation will take place in the exhibition area. Visitors are encouraged, but not required, to read the book before the discussions.
Event are free with admission to the museum, which costs $5 for adults.
The Nasher is at 2001 Campus Dr. in Durham. nasher.duke.edu.
Tilting at windmills
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish writer who gave us “Don Quixote.” To mark the occasion the Carolina Ballet returns artistic director Robert Weiss’ full-length story ballet, “Don Quixote,” which premiered in 2008 and was a dubbed a “crowd pleaser,” by the N&O reviewer.
Performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 13-15 and Oct. 22 and 29. There will be matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday, Oct. 15-16 and Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30. All shows are in Fletcher Theater, in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., downtown Raleigh.
Tickets start at $30, plus fees. carolinaballet.com.