It’s awe-inspiring and almost unbelievable what the new production of Rent at the 5th Avenue pulls off. Here is a musical so of its time that entire threads of the plot are distinctly dated. It’s set in the early 1990s, and four of the principal characters are about to die of AIDS (two are gay men, two are heterosexual drug users). But this production is something else. It’s inventive, it’s wrenching, it’s gorgeously sung, it’s dirty in ways you don’t expect, and it’s teeming with new signs of life. (5th Avenue Theater, 1308 Fifth Ave,, 8 pm, $39–$109)