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Originally published May 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM | Page modified May 20, 2012 at 1:26 AM

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My best bets of summer: Misha Berson

Best bets for summer 2012, from Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson.

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Misha Berson | Seattle Times theater critic

Intiman Theatre Summer Festival: Dormant for a year due to fiscal woes, Intiman Theatre revives itself with a mini-fest of edgy slants on several classic dramas (i.e., "Hedda Gabler," "Romeo and Juliet") performed by top local stage actors. Curious what the new Intiman artistic director Andrew Russell and company are up to? So are we.(www.intiman.org)

The Pinter Festival, July 20-Aug. 26: Keep it cool, with four works at ACT Theatre by a master of existential menace and mordant humor, the late British author Harold Pinter, including "No Man's Land" and "Old Times" (www.acttheatre.org).

"Rent" and "American Idiot": Two Broadway rock-musicals, two different eras, both in Seattle this summer to contrast and compare. July 21-Aug, 19, the 5th Avenue Theatre (www.5thavenue.org) promises a new spin on Jonathan Larson's "Rent," the '90s-hip tuner featuring a roster of fresh local talents playing a crew of 1980s New York bohemians grappling with the AIDS epidemic. And June 5-10, the Paramount Theatre (www.stgpresents.org) brings in the national tour of "American Idiot," a hard-driving songfest based on the existential post-1990s punk rock of the popular Bay Area band Green Day.

North by Northwest Shakespeare: Indoors, outdoors, all around the region: For a seasonal dose of the Bard, check out some of our favorites: Wooden O (www.seattleshakespeare.org/woodeno) and Greenstage (www.greenstage.org), live in area parks; Oregon Shakespeare Festival, in Ashland, Ore. (www.osfashland.org); and Vancouver B.C.'s Bard on the Beach (www.bardonthebeach.org).

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com

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