If Rent is Jonathan Larson's legacy, this 1990 precursor is the promissory note his postmortem hit redeemed. The same themes surface: a love/hate relationship with New York and Broadway, the difficulty of preserving one's integrity, the scourge of AIDS, the power of friends, even the intrusiveness of voice mail. This musical--a 2001 reworking of Larson's original solo show--includes a hopeful, struggling composer similar to Roger in Rent (a terrific Michael Ingersoll); a character who recalls both Benny and Angel, Quinton Guyton's materialistic Michael, who, like Larson, is cut down young; and Jess Godwin's Susan, who anticipates Mimi's directness and devotion. Ilesa Duncan's urgent staging and William A. Underwood's musical direction work so well together the songs simply soar. Through 6/25: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Sat 6/17 and 6/24, 3 and 8 PM, Pegasus Players, O'Rourke Performing Arts Center, Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson, 773-878-9761, $17-$25.