2Cents Theatre Group Stages RENT and PRIVATE EYES in Rep, Beg. Today

2Cents Theatre Group has announced its production of Rent, Jonathan Larson's legendary Broadway smash hit, which is now celebrating its 20th anniversary. Directed by Kristen Boulé, with musical direction by Morgan Fitch, Rent is set to open today, May 24. Private Eyes by Steven Dietz, directed by Shaunessy Quinn, opens on Thursday, May 30, and it will run in repertory with Rent, through June 30 at the Hudson Theatre Mainstage in Hollywood.

Based on Puccini's La Boheme, Rent is a rock opera that tells the story of one year in the life of a group of bohemians struggling in East Village New York during the 1990s. The story centers around Mark and Roger, two roommates. While a former tragedy has made Roger numb to life, Mark tries to capture it through his attempts to make a film. In the year that follows, the group deals with love, loss, AIDS, and modern day life, all wrapped up in one powerful story.

Private Eyes is a play about deception and broken trust, labeled by the author as a "comedy of suspicion," as the story is told in multiple layers and the audience is repeatedly tricked to believe that the current situation is real. It is sometimes considered an homage to The Real Thing (by Tom Stoppard, 1982), a play with the same theme and techniques. Although each layer by itself is deceptively plausible, the play takes several turns that make events in previous layers and sometimes even the overall story impossible.

Rent director Kristen Boulé is the founding artistic director of 2Cents Theatre Group currently in residence at the Hudson Theatres. She directs their 2nd Sundays Cabaret which appears monthly in the Hudson Café. Rent marks Boulé's third show at the Hudson, following The Last Five Years in 2012, and her own Dreams in Variation in 2011. Boulé, a filmmaker from Baltimore, has worked on films including Eagle Eye, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Body of Lies, Live Free or Die Hard, State of Play, and The Green Hornet, as well as several network television series. Private Eyes director Shaunessy Quinnhas directed readings and full productions in Illinois and Los Angeles, among them Toll, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, The Pilo Family Circus, Hassle Free Delivery, Parlour Games, and Feeling Up. He has also served as assistant director on Deathtrap, The Sonneteer, Lemon Durang Pie, and Equus in and around LA.

The cast of Rent will feature (in alphabetical order) Dedrick Bonner, Kate Bowman, Amber Bracken, Ariel Brooker, Cole Chapman, Brian Gamble, Lauren Joy Goss, Jonathon Grant, Michael Levine, Juan Lozano, Alli Miller, Tyler Olshansky, Reagan Osborne, Deondray Randolph, and Jessika Rowe. The cast of Private Eyes is (in alphabetical order) Philip Asta, Deigo Garcia, Mikayla Park, Tiffany Roberts, and Theresa Tilly. Both productions will feature set design by Anderson William, lighting design by Donny Jackson, and costume design by Abbey Hocker. Stage manager is Nick Acciani, and producers for 2Cents Theatre Group are Kristen Boulé, Cody Lyman, Kate Bowman, Tiffany Roberts, and Mike Abramson (producer of DOMA Theatre Company's recent productions of Avenue Q and Dreamgirls, both which were designated as Ovation Recommended and LA Times Critics Choice).

Rent opens tonight, May 24 at 8pm, with a red carpet gala beginning at 6:30, and will run Friday and Saturday at 8pmand Sunday at 7pm through June 30. General admission tickets for Rent are $34, with student and senior tickets available for $25 with valid ID.

Private Eyes opens on Thursday, May 30 at 8pm, and will play Thursday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm, also through June 30. General admission tickets for Private Eyes are $20, with student and senior tickets available for $15 with valid ID.

To purchase tickets for Rent online, go to www.plays411.com/rent, and to purchase online for Private Eyes, go to www.plays411.com/eyes. To purchase by phone, the number to call for both shows is (323) 960-4410. The Hudson Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, on Theatre Row in Hollywood, 90038. Parking is available across from the theatre on Hudson Avenue ($5).

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