There are many upcoming shows in the area and this weekend happens to be rich with opportunities to catch a show, or maybe even a couple.

“Rent,” the legendary musical featuring popular songs like “Seasons of Love,” is transforming the stage of the Rochester Auditorium Center into New York City’s East Village this Friday and Saturday. The musical, written by Jonathan Larson and based on Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme,” follows the East Village’s struggling artists and the impact AIDS has on their lives. Despite the darkness of the illness, Larson keeps the characters’ hope alive.

A hysterical, different kind of performance can be found at the Geva Theatre’s Geva Comedy Improv. The monthly act is set to perform this Friday and Saturday night. Geva’s troupe of improvisers pride themselves on their ridiculous comedy packed full of audience involvement. The troupe is led by associate artist Sean Daniels from Dad’s Garage Theatre in Atlanta. During each show, Geva’s troupe is joined on stage by Daniels and three other experienced improvisers from Dad’s Garage Theatre.

Returning to the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre after its 1989 premiere, “Forever Plaid” follows the one-day reincarnation of the members of a male singing group who were killed in a car crash on their way to their first big 1950s show. The men are given one day to make right any unfinished business they left behind. The performance is highlighted by lively 1950s hit tunes.

The musical comedy “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is also playing in Rochester this weekend at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre. This hot off-Broadway hit brings to life everything you’ve thought about romance, dating and relationships. Four characters play more than 40 roles of all different ages, making this production funnier than you could imagine.

Opening Oct. 14 at the Geva Theatre, “Copenhagen” takes the audience back to the 1940s when Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr held the history of the world in their hands with their work in atomic physics. Heisenberg – a German – and Bohr – a Dane – were forced to work separately due to the politics of World War II, but met again in 1941 to discuss their work. Their actual conversation, however, has remained a mystery to the outside world. The play explores this important conversation and its implications on the rest of the world.

“The Triumph of Love,” the first show of the fall 2003 season, will open next week at UR’s Todd Theatre. This 18th Century French romantic comedy by Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux follows a crossdressing princess and her trail of seduction as she attempts to reinstate her husband to the throne as the legitimate king.

“Hairspray” will visit Rochester this later fall. While you won’t be able to catch it until Nov. 18, this 1960s story about a teen girl with a passion for dance is worth mentioning. Based on John Waters’ movie by the same title, the story follows the “big girl with big hair” as she lands a spot on a TV dance program and fights to steal the spotlight from the program’s past princess.

Egan can be reached at cegan@campustimes.org.



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