Pre-Order the Cast Recording For THE JONATHAN LARSON PROJECT
Ghostlight Records has announced that The Jonathan Larson Project is now available for pre-order and is scheduled for release in physical, digital, and streaming formats on Friday, April 5. Customers who pre-order the digital album will immediately receive a download of the first single, "Greene Street." The album features the music of the late Jonathan Larson, the generation-defining writer of Rent and tick, tick... BOOM!, the former an iconic Broadway landmark and the latter a beloved musical gem. The Jonathan Larson Project is an evening of Jonathan's unheard work featuring songs from never-produced shows like 1984 and Superbia; songs that were cut from Rent and tick, tick... BOOM!; songs written for both theatrical revues and for the radio; songs about politics, love and New York City; including many never before publicly performed or recorded. A special album video trailer is available on YouTube HERE.
The special CD Softpak includes full lyrics, song annotations, production photos, recording studio photos, and archival materials, along with liner notes from director Jennifer Ashley Tepper, who also conceived the project, and writer Joe Iconis (Be More Chill, Broadway Bounty Hunter, NBC's "Smash"). Pre-order the album at ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/jonathanlarsonproject
The cast features some of this generation's greatest musical theater talent, including Nick Blaemire (tick, tick... BOOM!, Found, Godspell), Lauren Marcus (Be More Chill, Beatsville, Company), Andy Mientus (NBC's "Smash," Spring Awakening, Les Misérables), Krysta Rodriguez (Spring Awakening, First Date, The Addams Family), and George Salazar (Be More Chill, The Lightning Thief, tick, tick... BOOM!).
The Jonathan Larson Project is based on a concert originally presented at Feinstein's/54 Below, directed and conceived by Jennifer Ashley Tepper (Be More Chill), and featuring music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements by Charlie Rosen (Be More Chill, Prince of Broadway, Honeymoon in Vegas, Charlie Rosen's Broadway Big Band). The five-piece band includes musical director Natalie Tenenbaum, Charlie Rosen, Cody Owen Stine, Megan Talay, and Marques Walls, with Danielle Gimbal as copyist. The album is produced by Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Charlie Rosen, and Kurt Deutsch.
Jonathan Larson was a brilliant, groundbreaking creator of musical theater who died tragically at the age of 35, before seeing the worldwide acclaim his work would receive. He posthumously received Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, and his songs have come to be treasured and performed in 25 languages, from Mexico to Japan to Italy, from summer camps to the silver screen to Broadway.
When The Jonathan Larson Project premiered at Feinstein's/54 Below, it was hailed as "a treasure trove of unperformed, unrecorded, and unheard material" by DC Metro Theater Arts and "One of the Top 10 Broadway special events of 2018" by Asbury Park Press. According to TheaterMania.com, "this show seems destined for a future life onstage and on disc. His songs simply deserve to be heard."
"Larson's work has always spoken to me deeply," says director Jennifer Ashley Tepper. "It was a theater historian's dream to spend several years researching his lesser-known songs at the Library of Congress in order to create a new song cycle. We presented The Jonathan Larson Project at Feinstein's/54 Below last year and the energy of both the collaboration and of the audiences at the 12 performances was like nothing I've ever experienced. Jonathan's lost songs, which had been sitting in boxes for decades, are relevant and fascinating and personal and political and fun and heartbreaking. Rehearsing them with some of the greatest theater artists of our new generation and then watching the way they influenced new audience members made me feel his legacy in a powerful way."
"Now we get to share that legacy with the world by recording it as an album," she continues. "A few years ago, most of these songs only existed as demo tapes in a library vault from the 1980s and 1990s, featuring Jonathan and his piano. Now they comprise a brand-new theater piece that has been fully realized musically and will be available for everyone to listen to. I could not be more excited for a wider audience to experience The Jonathan Larson Project."
"Jonathan Larson's Rent was a game changer for musical theater," adds label founder Kurt Deutsch. "It revolutionized a new breed of musical theater artists and the audience that loves musicals. Jonathan left us too soon. However, we are fortunate that Jen Tepper through her years of research and dedication has given us all the gift of unearthing songs that were left behind. It is my honor to preserve this recording so that Jonathan's legacy continues to live and sing on."
Jonathan Larson received the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Rent. He also won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical and the 1994 Richard Rodgers Awards for Rent, and twice received The Gilman & Gonzales-Falls Theatre Foundation's Commendation Award. In 1989 he was granted the Stephen Sondheim Award from American Music Theatre Festival, where he contributed to the musical Sitting on the Edge of the Future. In 1988 he won the Richard Rodgers Development Grant for his rock musical Superbia, which was staged at Playwrights Horizons. He composed the score for the musical J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation, with was presented by En Garde Arts in 1995. Mr. Larson performed his rock monologue tick, tick... BOOM! at Second Stage Theater, The Village Gate and New York Theatre Workshop. In addition to scoring and songwriting for "Sesame Street," he created music for a number of children's book-cassettes, including Steven Spielberg's An American Tail and Land Before Time. Other film scores include work for Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner. He conceived, directed and wrote four original songs for Away We Go!, a musical video for children. Rent, his rock opera based on La Bohème, had its world premiere on February 13, 1996 at New York Theatre Workshop. Mr. Larson died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm on January 25, 1996, ten days before his 36th birthday.