Rent’s diverse ensemble of vagabond characters — including Roger, an HIV-positive musician, and Mimi, an exotic dancer who also has the disease — sing and dance their way through struggles with poverty and the yuppie invasion of their beloved East Village neighborhood. The playwright, the late Jonathan Larson, who was himself an AIDS patient and a starving artist, crafted a contemporary version of the opera La Bohème. Rent proves that while the vibrant lives of friends and neighborhoods fade, art and love can still conquer all.

All five performances of Rent have sold out — except (here’s the good part) for special $20 tickets that are available only on the day of the show. The tickets are for prime -orchestra-section seats. The $20 ticket policy was a practice originated by Larson; it seems he really did remember his days as a starving artist and wanted to make sure his show was affordable for everyone. 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. today; 8 p.m. Friday; and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For tickets and information, call 713-315-2525 or visit $20.
Fri., Nov. 16, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 17, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 18, 2 & 7:30 p.m., 2007

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