Generally AIDS doesn't make things better. But there's an exception to every rule, and Jonathan Larson's Rent -- a rock adaptation of Puccini's La Boheme -- improves on the opera, showing us New York City's Bohemian life back when it was booming, even as the shadow of AIDS and HIV loomed. Larson may have modeled his Tony and Pulitzer prize winning musical off of a 19th century story, but he rooted his work in the stuff he knew -- namely, what it's really like to be a starving artist in New York City circa the end of the millennium. Larson used clever lyrics and hummable tunes to make you feel for and feel with his characters, like Roger and HIV-positive drug addict and musician who seems to only play songs inspired by La Boheme. Sadly, Larson died the night before it opened Off-Broadway, a bittersweet ending for the creator of a story celebrating life, even in the face of death. Check it out at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday (with special 2:15 p.m. Matinees Saturday and Sunday) at the Colin Theatre Center, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano. Tickets are $15, $10 for students and seniors. Call 972-881-5809 or visit collintheatrecenter.com.
Thu., March 3, 2:15 & 8 p.m.; Sat., March 5, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 6, 2:15 p.m.; Wed., March 9, 8 p.m.; Thu., March 10, 8 p.m.; Fri., March 11, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 12, 2:15 p.m.; Sun., March 13, 2:15 p.m., 2011