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Jason Robert Brown

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Ossining, New York NY, United States

Jason Robert Brown is an American musical theatre composer and lyricist from Ossining, New York. His career began with the unorthodox Songs for a New World, whose original off-Broadway production ran for 28 performances at the WPA Theater in New York City in 1995. The show sits on the boundary between musical and song cycle: it is a series of largely disjoint songs with (unlike a musical) no plot or characters that continue from song to song, but the songs and production themselves are highly theatrical and character-driven.

He now has 6 major works under his belt, including Songs for a New World. His sophomore effort was the Tony award winning Parade, a musical about the 1913 murder of Mary Phagan and Leo Frank’s subsequent lynching, which ran on Broadway from December 17, 1998 to February 28, 1999.

Brown’s third work, The Last Five Years, is a powerful two-person song-cycle about a failing relationship, which is unique in that the story is told in two directions at once: Jamie, the husband, tells the story from his perspective chronologically, from the beginning to the end, whereas Cathy, the wife, tells her own perspective, beginning at the end and working her way back. The two characters exist in the same moment only once, at their wedding, which occurs exactly in the middle of the play.

He contributed five original songs to the country cover-heavy musical version of Urban Cowboy, which ran on Broadway from March 27, 2003 to May 18, 2003 and was a Tony nominee.

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