By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
“Rent”: The 5th Avenue Theatre is touting this production as a “brand new season of love,” electrifying, bold and innovative.
This modern rock opera has music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson with direction by Bill Berry and hit songs that include “La Vie Boheme,” “Take Me or Leave Me,” “One Song Glory” and “Rent.”
The show includes Seattle rising theater stars Aaron C. Finley, who has appeared in the 5th Avenue’s “A Christmas Story” and “One Love,” and at Village Theatre, and Naomi Morgan, who has previously performed in 5th Avenue’s “Cinderella,” and “West Side Story,” and also at Village Theatre in “The Full Monty” and “The Gypsy King.”
“Rent,” a youth anthem, is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and tells the story of struggling artists and musicians who live life, every moment, to the fullest against a backdrop of poverty and AIDS. The musical is based on the Puccini opera “La Boheme” and is a Pulitzer and Tony Award winner.
“Rent” opens with previews at 8 p.m. Saturday and plays at various times through Aug. 19 at The 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., Seattle. Tickets start at $29. Call 206-625-1900 or go to www.5thavenue.org/.
“The Pinter Festival”: This ACT Theatre festival features four mainstage plays — “The Dumb Waiter,” “Celebration,” “Old Times” and “No Man’s Land” — along with sketches, readings, films and rarely performed short works.
This festival celebrates the Nobel Prize Laureate Harold Pinter who is known for his stinging, dark humor.
A large cast of 11 actors perform in the festival ensemble. The four mainstage plays:
• “The Dumb Waiter”: A one-act that reminds one of Abbott and Costello, though seen through the eyes of Samuel Beckett, and offers tense banter, dark secrets and indescribable food orders.
• “Celebration”: Another food-inspired play and Pinter’s last play that is based on an experience he and his wife had at a posh restaurant in London where the two were totally distracted by a group of very boisterous diners at the next table.
• “Old Times”: A haunting offering about the elusiveness and unreliability of memory that also explores one’s need for psychological control and the fear that comes with losing that.
• “No Man’s Land”: What may or may not take place between the cradle and the grave is explored in this profound yet boozy look at life and death.
The festival kicks off with previews of “The Dumb Waiter” and “Celebration” at 8 Friday night and runs at various times through Aug. 26 at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle.
Tickets range from $5 to $55. All events included in the ACTPass, ACT’s $25 per month membership program.
For more information call 206-292-7676 or go to www.acttheatre.org/.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; email@example.com.