Creator of the Broadway sensation Rent, and other works exploring serious issues of HIV, discrimination, and sexual orientation.
He attended Adelphi University on Long Island, where he met his idol and future mentor, Stephen Sondheim, and then began staging Off Broadway productions.
While he had moderate success with the play Tick, Tick...BOOM!, he was felled by an aneurysm just one night before the premiere of his masterpiece Rent.
He grew up in White Plains, New York, his parents exposing him to music and performing arts from a young age.
His production of Rent became the breakout vehicle for actors like Taye Diggs and Adam Pascal.