Theatre News

Allan Larson, father of Rent and tick, tick…Boom! creator Jonathan Larson, has died

Larson senior helped steer his son’s work to international success

Allan Larson in 2011
Allan Larson in 2011
© David Gordon

Allan Larson, father of Rent and tick, tick…Boom! creator Jonathan Larson, has died, it has been confirmed.

Larson helped create, alongside his wife Nanette and daughter Julie, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation (a precursor to the Jonathan Larson Grants, as they later became) which ran from 1997 to 2008 and awarded grants to musical theatre composers, lyricists and book writers.

Those aided by the Foundation and Grants have included Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Laurence O'Keefe (Heathers), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer), Shaina Taub (The Daughters), Amanda Green (Bring It On) and Joe Iconis (Smash).

Larson and his family were honoured in 2019 at the American Theatre Wing's (who now oversee the Larson Grants) 2019 gala, with Larson also portrayed by Tony Award-winner Danny Burstein in the award-winning film tick, tick…Boom!, about the life of Jonathan Larson, available to watch now on Netflix.

tick, tick…Boom! director Lin-Manuel Miranda said on social media: "Faced with unimaginable loss, he made his son's legacy his life's work. For years, anywhere Jon's work premiered in the world, Al would be there to tell the assembled casts about his son Jonathan. Rest in peace, Al. Thank you for your trust and friendship. Miss you already."

Jonathan Larson died in January 1996 from an aortic dissection.

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