David Adjmi did not intend to re-enter the world of . With a handful of credits under his belt, Adjmi had sworn off playwriting after a high-stakes collaboration fell apart. Then, as he sought to fulfill one last playwriting grant obligation, he landed on the idea of which was nominated for 13 Tony this season, becoming the most nominated play in history.

The process of creating the play, about a fictional band trying to record a hit album in the 1970s, has both challenged and rewarded the collaborators, including Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, who wrote songs for the band, and the actors, who were called upon to perform those songs in the play, even though most of were not musicians before joining the cast. And for Adjmi, the play morphed into a deeply personal look at his career. “I think the play is almost my unconscious, or some deep part of myself telling me not to give up on myself as an artist,” Adjmi said.

follows the five-person band through the lengthy process of recording their album, which is often interrupted by escalating tensions between the two sets of couples within the band, as well as by the lead guitarist, Peter, who can be brutal in his pursuit for musical perfection. The three-hour play puts a documentary-style focus on the process, peppered with the technical minutiae of audio engineering, naturalistic dialogue and the playing of songs on the set consisting of a soundproof recording studio and a control room. The play, directed by Daniel Aukin, premie.

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