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Jonathan Larson

Jonathan Larson Jonathan Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) was an American composer from New York City who created musicals including Rent (1996) and tick, tick...BOOM! (1990).

These musicals seriously tackle issues such as multiculturalism, addiction, sexual orientation and HIV. Rent was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won four Tony Awards. The scores of his shows reveal that he was an apt composer and lyricist.

One tick, tick...BOOM! song called "Sunday" is an homage to Stephen Sondheim, who supported Larson. It stays close to the melody and lyrics of Sondheim's own song of the same title but turning it from a manifesto about art into a waiter's lament.

Among the many awards he received during and after his lifetime were: the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for Rent), the Richard Rodgers Production Award, the Richard Rodgers Development Grant, the Stephen Sondheim Award, the Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation's Commendation Award, the Tonys for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Score of a Musical for Rent, the Drama Desks for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Book, and Best Lyrics (also for Rent), the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical (again for Rent), the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical in the Off-Broadway category (another for Rent), and three Obie Awards for Outstanding Book, Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Music (yet again for Rent).

Among his many creative works are Rent, tick, tick...BOOM!, Sacrimoralimmorality (1981)with David Armstrong (retitled Saved for the one-week run on 42nd Street), Superbia, the music for J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation, numerous individual numbers, music for Sesame Street, music for the children's book cassettes of An American Tail and Land Before Time, music for Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner, and four songs for the children's video Away We Go! (which he also conceived and directed).

Larson died unexpectedly of an undiagnosed aortic dissection (aortic aneurysm), believed to have been caused by Marfan syndrome, on January 25th, 1996. It was ten days before his 36th birthday, and the night before Rent's first preview off-Broadway.

After his death, Larson's family and friends started the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation.

In 2005, a film version of his most popular production Rent was released, directed by Christopher Columbus.

In September of 2008, Rent closed after 12 successful years on broadway. One of the final shows and the finale were filmed for a limited engagement film, "Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway." The DVD and Blu-Ray disc were released was in February 2009.

Currently original cast members Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Gwen Stewart are performing on the farewell broadway tour of the show.
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