The Jonathan Larson Project 2019
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Jonathan Larson was a brilliant, groundbreaking creator of musical theatre who died tragically at the age of 35, before seeing the worldwide acclaim his work would receive. He was posthumously awarded 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.
“Larson’s work has always spoken to me deeply,” says director Jennifer Ashley Tepper. “It was a theatre 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 this fall 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 theatre 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. 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 theatre 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 theatre,” adds label founder Kurt Deutsch. “It revolutionized a new breed of musical theatre 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.”
“The Jonathan Larson Project” features 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). Music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Charlie Rosen (Be More Chill, Prince of Broadway, Honeymoon in Vegas, Charlie Rosen’s Broadway Big Band). The album will feature the show’s five-piece band including musical director Natalie Tenenbaum, Charlie Rosen, Cody Owen Stine, Megan Talay, and Marques Walls with Danielle Gimbal as copyist.