Tick, Tick…Boom! The story
Tick Tick Boom is a musical based on Jonathan Larson’s autobiography. It’s a story about an aspiring composer in New York City, who is In the process of writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical.
During the days leading up to his final performance, Jon is feeling pressure from everywhere: From Susan, his girlfriend who dreams of a life beyond the city; from his friend Michael, who has given up his dream of acting for the sake of financial security; also from a community suffering from the AIDS epidemic. At a crossroads, Jon is faced with the question we must all answer: how do we spend the limited time we have?
The director and other crew members
The producer Julie Oh, was the first inspired to bring Tick Tick Boom to the screen. This came about after seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda star in a 2014 production at the New York city center. After viewing a New York Times article, by Miranda, about how Tick Tick Boom inspired him when he saw the Off-Broadway production in 2001, this was the main reason why she felt it was important for the story to become a film.
To start the process of creating this musical movie Oh reached out to Jonathan Mills. He is the head of the Larson estate, but it didn’t go as planned as Jonathan’s close family and friends were scared that the film would not showcase an accurate representation of Jonathan and his story. Julie Oh then decided the only director who gives this story justice and respects Jonathan’s family wishes, would be Lin-Manuel Miranda. Once Miranda had expressed a lot of interest in working on the film, Oh and he got to work discussing their intentions and ideas.
The film was announced in July 2018, with the news that Miranda would be the director of the film, making it his directorial debut with the musical adaptation. Imagine Entertainment also confirmed that Julie Oh would be producing alongside him. Additionally, Dear Evan Hansen’s Steven Levenson would be helping write the script. The three of them confirmed that they would be using all Jonathan Larson songs and aspects from his stage musical Tick, Tick… Boom! in the film script.
The casting for this film was absolutely incredible! Everyone in the cast done and an amazing job and portrayed their character’s to a very high standard. The cast consisted of many huge names in the industry such as Andrew Garfield and Vanessa Hudgens. Before his leading role as Jonathan Larson, Andrew Garfield had never sung or played the piano. Due to this, he had to receive professional support to help gain experience in singing and playing an instrument.
Considering the fact this was Garfield’s first big musical theatre role, he was outstanding. His voice sounded natural and really fit the right vibe for the character of Jonathan. Not to mention, his acting was impeccable he portrayed Jonathan’s struggles and quirky characteristics perfectly. I honestly think there could not be someone better to play Jonathan Larson. As for Vanessa Hudgens, who plays Karessa, this was my favourite role of hers. It was the first time I have seen her play this type of character. Vanessa’s often associated with her Disney channel role in High School Musical, so it was really exciting and interesting to see her play a different type of role; which I absolutely loved – her voice was beautiful as always.
For me, Robin de Jesús who played Michael really stood out. His storyline and relationship with Jon really resonated and Robin made the character come to life. I really appreciated how he showed how being a gay man in the 90s was really difficult and how his life was affected by his sexuality. Additionally, I loved Robin and the character of Michael, he really portrayed the seriousness of the HIV epidemic in the 1990’s. The reality for people in the LGBTQIA+ community was considered and demonstrated throughout this story. I haven’t seen many other films or productions with Robin de Jesús but I can say that I would love to see more! He really engages the audience through his acting and vocals. Robin also has a natural wit about him which made him outstanding to watch.
Overall I would say Tick, Tick… Boom! is fabulous and a must watch. This film will bring a smile to your face. It will have you singing, dancing, and crying throughout. If you love musicals and want to explore something new, this is definitely the film for you; especially if you love the musical RENT. Even though I loved the storyline of this movie, I can understand that some scenes can be hard to follow if you aren’t used to complex and deep storylines in musical theatre films. For some viewers of this movie it could be slightly confusing if you don’t understand the character Jonathan Larson. However, I would still say it is worth a watch and would be an absolute hit for a movie night!