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.