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October 11, 2006

Music of Jonathan Larson on Oct. 23

Excerpts From “RENT” are Highlight of Concert

The Library of Congress presents a special concert of music by Jonathan Larson, composer of the hit rock musical “RENT,” at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, in the Coolidge Auditorium, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster (two per person) for a minimal service fee. Although the supply of tickets may be exhausted, interested patrons are encouraged to try for standby seats at the will-call desk in the Jefferson Building by 6:30 p.m.

Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of Mark Cohen in “RENT” and played the character in the 2005 motion picture adaptation, is joined by performers Natascia Diaz, Randy Graff, Jeremy Kushnier, Michael McElroy and Gwen Stewart, along with Tim Weil, original musical director for the hit Broadway show. This concert also marks a reunion for the five musicians from the original “RENT” band, both at the New York Theatre Workshop and at its Broadway opening. As an added highlight, Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music, a Washington-based gospel choir, will join in the concert’s finale.

Larson died prematurely at the age of 35 of an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm, believed to be caused by Marfan’s syndrome, just hours before the first public performance of “RENT.” To honor him, his family and friends established the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation, which awards grants to provide financial support and encouragement to the next generation of musical theater composers, lyricists and bookwriters, and the nonprofit theater companies that develop and produce their work.

As part of the Library’s concert, three songwriters who have received grants from the foundation – Joe Iconis, Cynthia Hopkins and Steven Lutvak – will be performing their songs.

Supported by funding from the Library’s Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trust and the Larson family, the concert celebrates the Library’s acquisition of the Jonathan Larson Collection, a new addition to its major holdings in the area of musical theater. The collection documents Larson’s surprisingly prolific output, including numerous musicals, revues, cabarets, pop songs, dance and video projects – both produced and unproduced.

For a complete list of the Library’s 2006-2007 concerts, visit www.loc.gov/rr/perform/concert/.

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PR 06-194
10/11/06
ISSN 0731-3527

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