John Johnson and Very Intensive Productions are pleased to announce the release of 35MM: A Musical Exhibition in Focus, an album of commentary, original cast interviews, and track-by-track song breakdowns. The album is available now (March 9) via Spotify, Apple Music, and all streaming platforms.

  • Did you know that the song “Crazytown” is structured around the 20 most common nightmares of college students?
  • Or that “The Ballad of Sara Berry” was written in 2 days before its world premiere?
  • Hear how the guitar riff of “Good Lady” was pulled straight out of “Giants in the Sky,”
  • The first line of “Party Goes with You” was recorded with the wrong lyric … and no one caught it,
  • And learn the tragically true story that inspired “Cut You a Piece.”
  • Plus so much more.

35MM: A Musical Exhibition is a cult-hit musical written by Ryan Scott Oliver that has been performed hundreds of times all over the world, including Japan, Australia, Scotland, England, Canada and across the US. With a cast recording (by Ghostlight Records) that has been experienced more than 20 million times, the show is song cycle based on photographs by world-renowned Broadway photographer Matthew Murphy (Murphymade.com).

The podcast-style album is narrated by Ryan Scott Oliver and features interviews with original cast members Alex Brightman, Ben Crawford, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Lindsay Mendez and Betsy Wolfe, with additional commentary by Murphy. Every song (including transitions) receives a track-by-track breakdown, analyzing music and lyrics and digging deep into their origins and inspirations.

A comprehensive deep dive perfect for actors, directors, writers, and creatives of any kind, 35MM: A Musical Exhibition in Focus also includes Oliver and Murphy reflecting on the decade-old songs and photographs respectively (“Matt and Ryan Grade 35MM”), a discussion with the original cast about the show’s legacy (“Parting Shots”), and a TedTalk-style tutorial guiding young creatives on how to develop and produce their own work by the writer himself (“RSO’s Thoughts on Making Stuff Happen”).


RSO and Very Intensive Productions are pleased to announce the release of Future Demons, an album of songs based on tales by acclaimed 1950s psychological horror author Shirley Jackson, composed by Ryan Scott Oliver with words by Jackson and Oliver. The new recording is available now (October 9) via Spotify, Apple Music, and all streaming platforms.





Among the stories included in the spooky collection:

  • In “My Life with R. H. Macy,” a young woman gets a job working at a dystopian department store where everyone’s called Miss Cooper and sales associates go missing all the time.
  • In “What a Thought,” a man is enjoying an evening at home with his husband, when he gets the thought, “I should kill him.”
  • In “The Story We Used to Tell,” two women become trapped in a photograph and must fight for their lives to escape.


“An object of enduring fascination, RSO reacts to her world with protean glee, producing a kind of endlessly evolving music that is breathtakingly exciting, making its listeners almost part of the process of its invention.  Yet, though he gallantly preserves much of her texts in each of his masterfully modernised, transformed and crafted lyrics, it all sounds – as ever – like totally him, and no-one else.” — BritishTheatre.com

“‘What a Thought’ by Ryan Scott Oliver and Shirley Jackson plays with the merry murderousness of couples stuck together for way too long during quarantine. The increasingly hilarious daydreams of violent retribution tap right into the increasingly dark humor we’re all using to deal with these days.” — Broadway World Album Review

“Ryan Scott Oliver and Shirley Jackson’s ‘What A Thought,’ performed by Oliver and by Jay Armstrong Johnson, is a riotously funny account of the effects of isolation, when a loving couple are driven to consider murdering each other.” — Reviews Hub


PLAYBILL: Lindsay Mendez introduces RSO’s write-up of Future Demons

BROADWAY.COM: Check out a sneak peak on Broadway.com!

Jackson’s work was the basis of the hit Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House and the classic Robert Wise-directed film The Haunting. She is also the author of the iconic  short story “The Lottery,”  and was the subject of the recent film Shirley, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Elisabeth Moss.

Future Demons will feature an impressive line-up of theater stars including (in alphabetical order) Kerstin Anderson, Britney Coleman, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Victoria Huston-Elem, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Gerianne Perez, Catherine Ricafort, and Heathcliff Saunders — with Allie Boyle, Nicole DeLuca, Caitlin Doak, Samantha Ferrara, Alina Fontanilla, Adam Magnacca, Liam Joshua Munn, Kim Onah, Chloe Savit, Andreas Schmidt, Byron Turk, and Nicole Zelka.

The Band features Joshua Zecher-Ross on synths, keyboards and  auxiliary instrruments, Felix Herbst on violins, Allison Seidner and David Tangney on cello, Andrew Zinsmeister on guitars, banjo and mandolin, Joseph Wallace on bass, and Joshua Samuels and Gary Seligson on drums/percussion. The album is produced by Zecher-Ross and Oliver (JZRSO Studios), and orchestrations by RSO.

The track list is as follows:

1: “My Life with R. H. Macy” — Kerstin Anderson and ensemble

2: “James Harris” — Heath Saunders and women

3: “The Story We Used to Telll” — Britney Coleman & Victoria Huston-Elem

4: “What a Thought” — Jay Armstrong Johnson

5: “Family Treasures” — Caitlin Doak, Alina Fontanilla, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Kim Onah, Gerianne Perez, Catherine Ricafort & Nicole Zelka

Shirley Jackson, the author of “The Road Through the Wall”, is seen in this April 16, 1951 photo. (AP Photo)

SHIRLEY JACKSON was born in 1916 in San Franciscco and later moved to Burlingame. At university in Syracuse, she met her husband, the future literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, with whom she had four children. In 1948 she published her iconic short story “The Lottery” in The New Yorker, sparking furious letters from readers to the magazine. Her novels —— most of which involve elements of horror and the occult —— include The Road Through the Wall, Hangsaman, The Bird’s Nest, The Sundial, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House. Her short story collections include The Lottery and Other Stories, Come Along with Me, Just an Ordinary Day and Let Me Tell You. Shirley Jackson died in her sleep in 1965 at the age of 48.


On February 27 and 28th, 2020, the first workshop of The Invention of Hugo Cabret (based on the novel by Brian Selznick and film, Hugo, by Martin Scorsese) was held at the Dominion Theatre in London as part of the show’s ongoing development. See the images attached for the cast and crew, and stay tuned for more news about the show.


Tony Award-winners Nikki M. James, Lindsay Mendez, and Ruthie Ann Miles star in RSO AT F/54, an evening retrospective of musicals by multi-award-winning composer-lyricist Ryan Scott Oliver at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Show time will be 7:00pm on March 31, 2020. 

The evening will also feature Tony nominee Kate Baldwin, plus Christy Altomare, Kerstin Anderson, Katie Rose Clarke, Ben Fankhauser, Drew Gehling, Jason Gotay, Troy Iwata, Jay Armstrong Johnson, John-Michael Lyles, Katie Thompson, and Natalie Walker.

Also featured during the evening are Ethan Carlson, Caitlin Doak, Ian Fairlee, Mary Claire Miskell, David Park, Bethany Perkins, and Donté Wilder.

Joshua Zecher-Ross music directs Max Grossman on Keyboard 2, Allison Seidner on cello, Coco Taguchi on Violin, Joseph Wallace on basses, Jeremy Yaddaw on drums, and Andrew Zinsmeister on guitars. Orchestrations are by Ryan Scott Oliver.

Audience members can expect to hear tunes from the prolific list of Oliver’s work, from Mrs. Sharp; Darling; 35mm: A Musical Exhibition; Jasper in Deadland; We Foxes; Rope; Otherbody, a brief musical allegory; Three Points of Contact, and world premieres from Oliver’s latest work.

You can purchase tickets at Feinstein’s/54 Below’s website.


Very Intensive Productions is pleased to announce the release of Rope: Fibers, a new E.P. featuring songs from RSO’s musical, ROPE. The new recording is available now via Spotify, Apple Music, and all streaming platforms.

Rope: Fibers features Ethan Carlson, Ben Fankhauser, Troy Iwata, Cory Jeacoma, Max Kumangai, John-Michael Lyles, Mary Claire Miskell, David Park, and Daniel Yearwood, with Devon Chandler, Caitlin Doak, Ian Fairlee, and Byron Martin Turk.

The band features Joshua Zecher-Ross on keyboards and additional instruments, Virginia Luke on violins, Tom Jorgensen on percussion, and Andrew Zinsmeister on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Joshua-Zecher Ross served as music director and co-producer, and orchestrations are by RSO and Solomon Hoffman.

The track list is as follows:

1: “My Lass, She Tied Her Lace to Me” — Cory Jeacoma, David Park, John-Michael Lyles and Daniel Yearwood

2: “The Stranger” — Ethan Carlson and Cory Jeacoma

3: “All Men are Tied Together” — Max Kumangai

4: “What You Call Freedom” — Mary Claire Miskell

5: “I Have Seen the After” — John-Michael Lyles

6: “I Go on with You” — Ben Fankhauser and Troy Iwata

Check out the liner notes below.