Two plays from the 1990s that tackle gay issues open this weekend. Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer and multiple Tony-winning Rent takes the stage at Casa Mañana through next weekend. Though the contemporary take on Puccini’s La Bohème — set in AIDS-ravaged 1990s Greenwich Village — has dated badly in some respects, the music is still often beautiful, and the love songs for same-sex couples (male and female) were among the first such Broadway numbers that mainstream audiences were ready to hear.
Standing the test of time rather better is Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project, inspired by the real-life 1998 murder of a gay student in Wyoming. There have been quite a few local productions of the play since then, but the one opening this weekend is notable because it’s being put on by DVA Productions. Sheran Goodspeed Keyton’s fledgling troupe is still establishing its identity, and Kaufman’s play, the group’s second production of its first full season, should help us get a fix on what kind of productions to expect from DVA. See the show for a glimpse of a new player in our city’s theater scene, or see it because it’s a powerful stage piece. It’ll make you think either way.
Rent runs Mar 3-11 at Casa Mañana Theater, 3101 W Lancaster Av, FW. Tickets are $25. Call 817-332-2272.
The Laramie Project runs Mar 2-11 at Pantagleize Theater, 1115 S Main St, FW. Tickets are $15. Call 817-313-3052.