Ghostlight Records and Two River Theaterhave announced the release of Love in Hate Nation – Original Cast Recording, which is available in digital and streaming formats today, Friday, February 11. Love in Hate Nation features book, music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and direction by John Simpkins. The recording is based on the show’s world premiere production at the Two River Theater in 2019. The label is reuniting with Iconis and Two River after their viral success with the original cast recording of Be More Chill. The show has music direction and vocal arrangements by Annastasia Victory, and music supervision and orchestrations by Charlie Rosen. The album is produced by Joe Iconis, Ian Kagey, and Charlie Rosen, with Michael Hurst/Two River Theater and Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producers. The album is available at Ghostlight.lnk.to/LoveInHateNationPR
The album will also include two bonus “B-Side” tracks: the song “Jezebel” and a special new recording of the album cut “Masochist” by The Smith Twins.
Love in Hate Nation is a 1960’s-set love story about two women caught between eras of a changing America. Sixteen-year old Susannah Son is carted off to the National Reformatory for Girls (a.k.a. Nation) to get her head put on straight. There she meets the aggressively incorrigible Sheila Nail, and a relationship forms which leads to an all-out “revolution in the institution” as they attempt to break out of the boxes society has created around them. Girl Group Wall of Sound harmonies are filtered through a punk rock spirit in this rebellious and romantic new musical.
Joe Iconis is the Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist of the worldwide sensation Be More Chill. Iconis and Joe Tracz wrote Be More Chill as a commission for Two River Theater, where the show was developed and premiered in 2015 before going on to sold-out limited engagement Off-Broadway and Broadway runs. Director John Simpkins has worked with writer Joe Iconis on six projects prior to Love in Hate Nation, including Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits and all 11 years of The Joe Iconis Christmas Extravaganza. He is Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State School of Theatre, where Love in Hate Nation was commissioned and developed.
“In terms of passion projects, they don’t get more passionate than Love in Hate Nation,” says 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 have given us the opportunity to record it. I think our chorus line of 8 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.”
When Love in Hate Nation premiered in 2019, it was praised by local critics. The show was hailed as “thrilling, exhilarating, exciting and fabulous” by BroadwayWorld. Parterre raved that “Iconis’ score, always tuneful and charming, rises to heights that resonate the best of the Elphaba / Glinda songs in Wicked.” According to Broad Street Review, “Love in Hate Nation is stronger than nearly any new musical I’ve seen this year, rest assured that you’ll leave Hate Nation madly, deeply in love.”
The cast of Love in Hate Nation includes Sydney Farley, Amina Faye, Jasmine Forsberg, Lauren Marcus, Kelly McIntyre, Lena Skeele, Emerson Mae Smith, Ryan Vona, and Tatiana Wechsler.