By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
• Cast cares: Cast members of the musical RENT, which runs through Sunday, April 11, raised nearly $3,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, an organization helping people living with HIV/AIDs, according to a Palace release. After the first six performances of the production, cast members headed to the lobby with red buckets to collect money for the cause. See www.broadwaycares.org for more on the organization. Remaining shows for RENT are Friday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday April 11, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost between $15 and $45. Call 668-5588 or go to www.palacetheatre.org. The Palace Theatre says RENT is “PG-13 due to adult language and situations.”
• An evening of magic and fundraising: The Friends of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre will hold its biannual live and silent auction event “Experience the Magic,” at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center on Thursday, May 20. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction. The event includes a dinner, entertainment and a live auction featuring WCVB-TV’s midday anchor Susan Wornick as auctioneer. Tickets cost $60 and benefit the theater’s productions and programs. See www. merrimackrep.org or call 978-654-7552.
• Eats and a show: This weekend will see at least three productions mixing dinner and theater. Friday, April 9, through Sunday, April 11, it’s Forever Plaid! at the Majestic Theatre, 281 Cartier St. in Manchester, 669-7469, www.majestictheatre.net (7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 1:30 p.m. on Sunday). Tickets to this dinner or dessert-only production cost $22 to $35. On Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, it’s George Piehl and Friends from Stage One Productions (www.stageoneproductions.net) at The Chateau, 201 Hanover St. in Manchester, 669-5511. A buffet dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and brunch starts at noon on Sunday. On Saturday, April 10, at 6 p.m. it’s Jester’s Ball, a fundraiser for the New Thalian Players, featuring food, dancing and games. The event is held at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St. in Manchester, tickets cost $30. Call 682-1089 for information.