Draw a little blood for Valentine’s Day…
If you’re looking for the perfect musical soundtrack for your romantic holiday, consider this offbeat song “Valentine’s Day.” Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jonathan Larson wrote the song, eventually placing it in the Rent score, but it did not make the final version of the hit musical.
Now, Broadway star Andy Mientus (Spring Awakening) releases the first-ever commercial recording of the song as part of the forthcoming album The Jonathan Larson Project. Dropping on April 5 from Ghostlight Records, the album features a host of songs by Larson performed by some of Broadway’s biggest talents.
It was originally conceived and presented as a concert at Feinstein’s/54 below, directed by Jennifer Ashley Tepper.
“’Valentine’s Day’ was one of Jonathan Larson’s favorite songs that he wrote,” Tepper said in a statement. “It first appeared in a show called Prostate of the Union that he created with collaborator Michael Lindsay. Larson loved the number so much that he later placed it in Rent. Jonathan was sad to cut it between the show’s 1993 and 1994 readings, but it felt like the correct choice for the piece overall. His friends and collaborators told me that he was sure he’d find the right spot for the song someday. It was thrilling to record ‘Valentine’s Day’ in the studio as Andy Mientus and the cast lent their glorious vocals to the electrifying arrangement by Charlie Rosen. We strove to channel the creative impulses Jonathan had while crafting each version of the song into our rendition, which we are excited to share now as a music video. It marks the first time that this extraordinary number has been commercially recorded.”
The album is made up of Larson’s unheard work, including songs from never-produced shows 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 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,” Tepper added. “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.”
Watch the clip above for more. The Jonathan Larson project is available beginning April 5.