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Sara Wabrowetz (center) performs with Kristen Parizek (from left) Vanessa Barr, and Marra Depesa during the dress rehearsal of the Renegade Theater Company production of “Things to Ruin,” a pop musical revue-style show about what it is like to be young and alive in modern times. (Clint Austin /

Pop musicals duel for Duluth audience

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So you say you’re a fan of musicals that speak to what it is like to be young and alive in modern times. You like a story that bears a familial resemblance to “Spring Awakening” or “Rent.”


You prefer musicians with blistered fingertips to those who follow a baton, but you prefer either to a show sans soundtrack.

You’re in luck.

Related content: "Things to Ruin"

Related content: "Bare" A Pop Opera"

Two pop musicals go live today on local stages within a single mile — and a half-hour of each other. Renegade Theater Company’s production of “Things to Ruin” is a series of self-contained vignettes about life — an old friend pops up in a skin flick, the ignominy of being picked for a dodge ball team, how to succeed in business.

Meanwhile, at The Underground, “Bare: A Pop Opera” has at its base a love story between two high school-aged boys at a Catholic boarding school. Cue issues of hookups, breakups, drug use and pregnancy with an underlying Shakespearean plot.