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Run, don't walk to see "Rent" at CSU

As you probably have guessed, I have seen a lot of plays in my time. I've seen them at the Springer Opera House, Columbus College's Fine Arts Hall, The Human Experience Theatre, the Bradley Theatre, the Liberty Theatre, Three Arts Theatre, Columbus State University's Riverside Theater Complex, even at Melissa's Dance studio where my friend Troy Heard did several shows and several high schools. I've seen shows in Atlanta's Fox Theatre, Alliance Theatre, 14th Street Theatre, Civic Center and Theatre on the Square. I've seen plays in Montgomery's Alabama Shakespeare Festival. I've seen plays in Americus' Rylander Theatre. I'm sure I've left out several theaters.

So I've seen hundreds of plays -- good, bad, mediocre and excellent.

Tonight, I saw an excellent one that I recommend you run to buy tickets.

It's really, really good.

It's "Rent" in Columbus State University's Riverside Theatre Complex, 6 W. 10th St.

The play by the late Jonathan Larson, is loosely based on Puccini's opera, "La Boheme." And like "La Boheme," it's sung through. No spoken lines.

You know what that means. The cast has to be able to really sing. And these kids can really sing.

The one who really blew me away was Thomas Freeman, who plays Angel. He was amazingly good. When I was told he was playing Angel, I thought he was too tall and too well-built. But I was wrong. Yes, he's big, but he carries it off. I think Angel may be his dream role.

You can see it at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. March 28-30.

Tickets are $22; $20 seniors and CSU Alumni.

It's definitely not recommended for children.

The themes include death, poverty, HIV/AIDS and homosexuality with plenty of adult language. At the same time, there's great joy and life.

If you're wondering where to park, there are parking spaces along Bay Avenue, but CSU has an agreement with the W.C. Bradley Co. to use its parking lot. I parked there last night and walked maybe a block. It's no big deal.

Call the box office at 706-507-8444.

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