GHOSTLIGHT RECORDS and TWO RIVER THEATER have announced the release of Love in Hate Nation – Original Cast Recording in a special cassette edition, scheduled for Friday, December 2. The cassette edition is now available for pre-order. The album, currently out in digital and streaming formats, 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 arrangementsby Annastasia Victory, and music supervision and orchestrationsby Charlie Rosen. The album is produced by Joe IconisIan Kagey, and Charlie Rosen, with Michael Hurst/Two River Theater and Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producers.The album is available to stream or download at Pre-0rder the cassette at  

“Some of my earliest memories are listening to the Original Cast Recordings of Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods, and The Phantom of the Opera while obsessing over the packaging,” comments Joe Iconis. “I loved being able to have an official piece of the show to interact with. A cassette felt different than a souvenir program or a t-shirt brandishing show art. A cassette was a living, breathing thing to me- show art that sang! Time has not been kind to my friend, the cassette. It was widely known that the sound quality paled in comparison to its forebearer The Vinyl and its descendant The CD, but I’ve always felt very romantic about that little piece of plastic.”

“At a time when music feels impalpable, I am so thrilled to announce a physical release of our Love in Hate Nation cast album,” he continues. “The show is a love story between two people who have been discarded by society, so I think it is only appropriate that our album is released on the red-headed stepchild of physical media: The Audio Cassette. Don’t have a tapedeck? You can enjoy the Love in Hate Nation tape without one. Stephanie Layton, Bailey Ford, and I have collaborated on packaging that features brand new art, laid out in a retro ‘zine style. The cassette will look great sitting on your bedroom shelf as you pine for your latest unrequited love. Or imagine getting picked up for a date and as you step into your suitor’s gleaming white Dodge Challenger, they’ve got a Love in Hate Nation cassette strewn on the passenger side floor. It’s a surefire sign that you’re gonna have a good night.”

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, followed by Broadway and London runs. Director John Simpkins has worked with writer Joe Iconis on six projects prior to Love in Hate Nation, including Bloodsong of LoveThe 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.

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 BroadwayWorldParterre 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 FarleyAmina FayeJasmine ForsbergLauren MarcusKelly McIntyreLena SkeeleEmerson Mae SmithRyan Vona, and Tatiana Wechsler.

The work of Joe Iconis is also represented on Ghostlight Records with AlbumBe 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).


GHOSTLIGHT RECORDS has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings – building a library of over 200 records over the past 22 years, featuring some of the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway’s brightest stars. Founded by Grammy Award winner Kurt Deutsch, Ghostlight has won Grammy Awards for The Band’s Visit, The Book of MormonIn the Heights and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. Ghostlight has also released solo albums from Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Sutton Foster, Billy Porter, and more. The label continues to support the new generation of musical theater composers and has developed extensive relationships with Jason Robert Brown, Michael John LaChiusa, and David Yazbek, as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pasek & Paul, Tom Kitt, Joe Iconis, and Shaina Taub. Ghostlight Records is part of the Arts Music division at Warner Music Group.

TWO RIVER THEATER produces a theatrical season that includes American and world classics, new plays and musicals, programs for young people, and festivals of new work. Each year, they also offer 40+ events that reflect the diverse community of Red Bank, New Jersey. Two River has commissioned and premiered original projects including Be More Chill by Tony Award-nominee Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz (the theater’s first Broadway production) and Hurricane Diane by Playwright-in-Residence Madeleine George (which won an Obie Award for its Off-Broadway run). Two River serves thousands of students and community members through arts and humanities programs at the theater, in schools, and throughout the region. Two River Theater is led by Artistic Director Justin Waldman and Managing Director Michael Hurst.


Side A

Opening (Instrumental)

Susannah’s Song

Life in Hate Nation

The Three Failed Escape Attempts of Sheila Nail

Doc Shock

Montage: This Is the Way… / Miss Asp’s Song I /Mother Mother

The Other One

Francis’s Song

Side B

Oh Well

I Hope



Miss Asp’s Song II

Revolution Song

I Fell in Love in Juvie Hall!


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