GHOSTLIGHT RECORDS WILL RECORD “THE JONATHAN LARSON PROJECT”
Ghostlight Records has announced that it will record The Jonathan Larson Project to be released in early 2019. The album will be based on a concert originally presented at Feinstein’s/54 Below, directed and conceived by Jennifer Ashley Tepper, and featuring music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Charlie Rosen. The show features the music of the late composer Jonathan Larson, who wrote 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 theatrical revues and songs written for the radio; songs about politics and love and New York City; songs never before publicly performed or recorded. The album will be produced by Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Charlie Rosen and Kurt Deutsch.
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.
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 Theatre, The Village Gate and New York Theatre Workshop. In addition to scoring and song writing 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 Boheme, had its world premiere on February 13, 1996 at New York Theatre Workshop. Mr. Larson did unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm on January 25, 1996, ten days before his 36th birthday.
FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW, Broadway’s Supper Club & Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, Feinstein’s/54 Below is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. Feinstein’s/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage. In their description of the venue, The New York Times writes, “Feinstein’s/54 Below has the intimacy of a large living room with unimpeded views and impeccable sound; there is not a bad seat in the house. Its sultry after-hours ambience is enhanced by brocade-patterned wall panels planted with orange-shaded lanterns. And the atmosphere is warmer and sexier than in Manhattan’s other major supper clubs.” Feinstein’s/54 Below is owned and operated by Broadway producers Tom Viertel, Richard Frankel, Steve Baruch and Marc Routh. The Creative and Programming Director is Jennifer Ashley Tepper. In 2015, Michael Feinstein became a Creative Partner and the club was re-named to reflect his essential role in the club’s continued growth and success. Located at 254 West 54th Street, Feinstein’s/54 Below features up to three shows nightly with cover charges ranging from $5- $105. www.54Below.com/Feinsteins
GHOSTLIGHT RECORDS has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings – building a library of over 200 records over the past 18 years, featuring some of the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway’s brightest stars. Founded by Grammy Award winner Kurt Deutsch, Ghostlight has won Grammy Awards for The Book of Mormon, In the Heights and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Recent notable cast recordings include the 2018 Tony winner for Best Musical, The Band’s Visit, and the blockbuster viral sensation Be More Chill. Ghostlight has also released solo albums from Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Sutton Foster, Billy Porter, and more. The label continues to support the new generation of musical theatre composers and has developed extensive relationships with Jason Robert Brown, Michael John LaChiusa, and David Yazbek, as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pasek & Paul, Tom Kitt, Joe Iconis, and Shaina Taub. Ghostlight Records is part of the Arts Music division at Warner Music Group.