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Rooster Revue #17 • The Larson Effect
How Sondheim and Larson changed musical theater.
We’ve been away for a while but boy has it been an exciting few months for movie musicals; Tick Tick Boom, Encanto, West Side Story, Cyrano—all of which are incredible. We also pay our respects to our musical theatre hero Stephen Sondheim, who passed away on Nov. 26, and left behind perhaps the greatest musical theater legacy of all time.
In our featured section below, enjoy a new video from our friend Howard Ho (that we made some animation for) about how Jonathan Larson (with a little help from Sondheim) inspired a generation of musical theater creators.
• 12/13 Movie musicals score big at the Golden Globes—not that anyone’s going to watch them. [Broadway World]
• 12/13 How Sparks tried to re-invent the movie musical with Annette. And they’re planning to do it again. [The Wrap]
• 12/8 A great BTS video of Lin Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut. [YouTube]
• 12/6 A Boyz II Men movie musical in the works. [Hollywood Reporter]
• 12/8 Spielberg's 30 year journey to make a musical [The Ringer]
• 12/6 A Cyrano behind the scenes featurette. [Deadline]
• 11/30 Why Sweeney Todd was Stephen Sondheim’s favorite movie musical adaptation [Den of Geek]
• 11/3 Thirty films that expand the art of the movie musical [New Yorker]
Howard Ho is a writer, composer, Youtuber and Ovation nominated sound designer based in LA.
Howard's Youtube Channel, Howard Ho Music, is known for the series How Hamilton Works, which explains how the music from the hit musical works. His videos have garnered millions of views, over 50,000 subscribers, and have been recognized by Lin-Manuel Miranda himself.
Jonathan Larson has revolutionized musical theatre, and you see the seed of inspiration in so many shows today from Spring Awakening to In the Heights to Next to Normal to Dear Evan Hansen. But Larson only wrote one musical, RENT, and maybe two if you include Tick Tick Boom, his one-person rock monologue that has since been turned into a musical. How did he end up having such an outsized influence on the genre? Well, in the video "How Sondheim & Larson Woke Up A Generation," I describe exactly what makes Larson's work (and also the work of his mentor Stephen Sondheim) so important to young musical theatre writers.
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"Rooster Revue" is edited by Matt Andrews and Jeffrey Simon with contributions from the entire team at The Barn. Read past issues in the archive.