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Best Bets: Stage

If you still don't know what Broadway blockbuster rock opera "Rent" is about, here is what you need to know: the story follows one year in the life of a group of bohemians in New York City connected by friendships, intimate relationships and chance. The show addresses love and loss, AIDS and drug use with a focus on the modern-day bohemian lifestyle. It's emotional, powerful and immensely popular and is co-presented by Syracuse Stage and the SU Department of Drama.

For an added punch, when "Rent" opens Tuesday Jan. 18 at Syracuse Stage, the Onondaga historical Association will celebrate la vie boheme with a lobby exhibit that follows the history of Bohemianism from its origin in the 17th century through its decline in the 1800s.

"From the struggle for gay rights, through the stigma of HIV and the controversy over needle exchange and rehabilitation programs, to the establishment of artist communities and affordable, appropriate housing, the exhibit covers the local aspects of the principle subjects represented in 'Rent,'" according to Syracuse Stage.

"Rent" runs from Jan. 18 through Feb. 13, with a slew of special promotional days and the following extras:

Prologue

One hour before every performance, except the Wednesday matinee, a cast member will offer an insightful and entertaining talk about the play. Supported by the Grandma Brown Foundation.

M&T Bank Pay-What-You-Can Series

Watch the final dress rehearsal at 7:30 p.m. Sunday Jan. 16; $9 suggested donation, tickets available at the door one hour prior to curtain.

LGBT Pride Series

Food, music and friends one hour before the 7:30 p.m. show Thursday Jan. 20.

LIVE in the Sutton Series

Live music following the 8 p.m. curtain Friday Jan. 21.

Happy Hour Series

Half-price bar drinks and complimentary snacks one hour before 7:30 p.m. show Thursday Jan. 27.

Welch Allyn Signed Performance Series In Memory of Susan Thompson

At 3 p.m. Saturday Jan. 29.

Actor Talkback Series

Following the 7 p.m. show Sunday Jan. 30.

Wednesday@1 Lecture Series

At 1 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 9.

Open Caption Series

At 2 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 9 and Sunday Feb. 13.

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