Original cast recording of Joe Iconis’s ‘Love in Hate Nation’ coming this Fall

Ghostlight Records and Two River Theater have announced that the label is recording an original cast album today (Monday, August 2), for release in the Fall, of the Joe Iconis musical Love in Hate Nation. Produced by Iconis, Ian Kagey, and Charlie Rosen, with Two River Theater and Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producers, the album is based on Two River’s 2019 world-premiere production in Red Bank, NJ (with book, music, and lyrics by Iconis, direction by John Simpkins, music direction and vocal arrangements by Annastasia Victory, and music supervision and orchestrations by Rosen).

The project represents a reunion of Iconis and Two River with Ghostlight Records – part of the Arts Music division at Warner Music Group and the leading independent force in original Broadway cast recordings, with a library of over 200 records over the past twenty years – after their phenomenal worldwide viral success with Be More Chill (with music and lyrics by Iconis and a book by Joe Tracz).

The company of Love in Hate Nation. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Set in the 1960s, Love in Hate Nation tells the love story of two women caught between eras of a changing America. Sixteen-year old Susannah Son is carted off to the National Reformatory for Girls (aka Nation), where she meets the aggressive and incorrigible Sheila Nail. They form a relationship that leads to an all-out “revolution in the institution” as they attempt to break out of the boxes society has created around them.

The romantic and rebellious score, performed by the cast of Sydney Farley, Amina Faye, Jasmine Forsberg, Lauren Marcus, Kelly McIntyre, Lena Skeele, Emerson Mae Smith, Ryan Vona, and Tatiana Wechsler, has been described as “Girl Group Wall of Sound harmonies filtered through a punk rock spirit.”

Joe Iconis. Photo by Stephanie Wessels.

“In terms of passion projects, they don’t get more passionate than Love in Hate Nation,” says Tony-nominated composer/lyricist Iconis. “I’m beyond proud of this badly-behaved original musical and I couldn’t be more ecstatic or grateful that Ghostlight and Two River Theater are giving us the opportunity to record it. I think our chorus line of eight ass-kickin’, diverse, powerhouse women is representative not only of the world we currently live in, but the world we should aspire to live in, and I can’t wait for them to be singing their bloody hearts out over speakers far and wide. Here’s to human beings and musicals and cast albums that don’t fit the mold and here’s to the institutions that support them.”

The work of Joe Iconis is also represented on Ghostlight Records with Be More Chill (Original Broadway Cast Recording and Original Cast Recording), Broadway Bounty Hunter (Original Cast Recording), Two-Player Game (George Salazar and Joe Iconis), The Joe Iconis Rock & Roll Jamboree, and Things to Ruin (Original Cast Recording).


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