Atlanta Lyric Theatre is preparing to open Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning musical “Rent” with a heavily gay cast and crew.
The original “Rent” opened on Broadway in 1996, just after composer/playwright Larson’s untimely death from an aortic dissection, and ran an incredible 12 years. It’s been produced in Atlanta perhaps more than any other Broadway musical save for “Mamma Mia!” the last decade.
Director Alan Kilpatrick, who is gay, feels that “Rent” is that rare show that reaches audiences outside of typical theater patrons.
“I think it appeals to a broader spectrum than people would guess,” Kilpatrick says. “People have latched onto it. It has an infectious score.”
Theater fans looking for LGBT-themed shows this spring won’t be disappointed. From Oscar Wilde to naked bodybuilders to puppets, the season is hopping.
Gay playwright Jim Grimsley’s “Mr. Universe,” presented by 7 Stages May 26 to June 12, is one of the don’t-miss shows of the next few months. Grimsley’s 1987 play is about a hooker and two drag queens who find a naked man in the streets of New Orleans, alone and bleeding, and decide to take him home.
The production stars Doyle Reynolds and Don Finney, both openly gay, and is directed by Del Hamilton. According to Grimsley, this is the first local production of the play since its original bow at 7 Stages.
Actor’s Express is staging the gayest play the company has done in a while: David Hare’s “The Judas Kiss” (May 12 – June 11).