Book, Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Script Consultation by David Auburn
Direction by Clint Foley
Music Direction by Jenna Byrd
August 12-28, 2022
This autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composer of RENT, is the story of a composer and the sacrifices that he made to achieve his big break in theatre. Containing fourteen songs, ten characters, three actors and a band, Tick, Tick… Boom! takes you on the playwright/composer’s journey that led to a Broadway blockbuster.
Up Next Productions is taking on this one-act rock opera in order to continue examining the themes of artistic self-expression and how artists follow their pursuits while balancing the stresses of daily life, which we explored in our 2019 production of [title of show]. We’re also celebrating the 30th anniversary of tick, tick…BOOM! in 2020! Through a nostalgic lens, we’re investigating what thoughts, hopes, and fears artists like Jon underwent back in the 20th century, and have things really changed since?
Tick, tick…Boom! tells the story of an aspiring composer named Jon, who lives in New York City in 1990. Jon is worried he has made the wrong career choice to be part of the performing arts. His girlfriend wants to get married and move out of the city, his best friend is making big bucks on Madison Avenue, and yet Jon is still waiting on tables and trying to write the great American musical.
The story is autobiographical: Larson had been trying to establish himself in theater since the early 1980s. Larson began to perform the piece “30/90” (later to be renamed tick, tick…BOOM!) as a solo work in 1990. After his death in 1996, it was revised and revamped by playwright David Auburn as a three-actor piece and was premiered Off-Broadway in 2001. Since then, the show has had an Off-West End production, a West End production, an American national tour, two Off-Broadway revivals in 2014 and 2016, and numerous local and international productions.
During the final months of 2019, we wrapped our first year of production with a concert celebration in hopes to raise funds for our next musical in March 2020. As increasing news about the pandemic filtered in, we decided upon postponement date of June. The worldwide situation developed, and we postponed our full production to October 2020.
Soon afterward, it became apparent that we’d have to wait a little longer for our full production. Rather than let all of our work gather dust until we can safely return to the stage, we brought our vision of tick tick BOOM! right into the homes of our audiences, via 5 live-streamed concert previews titled tick, tick…SOON!
Check out more of that series and our behind-the-scenes work process here:
The Foley Family & Pups
Madilyn Clark Studios
Gracie Van Brunt
J. Elijah Cho
Robert Angell IV
All our supporters on StageIt
tick, tick…SOON! Team:
Scott Johnson | Roni Paige | Jordan Stidham
Gabe Aronson | Monica Mandapat | Chris Bunyi
Rama Vallury | Jonathan Barouch | Andrew Puente
Angeline Mirenda | Jordan Mitchell-Love | Tuck Byrd
The Chumash, Tongva, Kizh, and all other indigenous nations on whose land we perform.
The Times of Jonathan Larson
Feb 4, 1960 – Jon is born is White Plains, New York.
1978 – Jon begins attending Adelphi University on an acting scholarship.
1982 – Jon graduates and moves to New York City.
1983 – Jon begins developing a musical adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.
1984 – George Orwell’s estate denies Jon’s adaptation, and Jon reforms the piece into Superbia.
1989 – Jon receives the Stephen Sondheim Award for his song “Hosing the Furniture.” Superbia has yet to be produced.
1991 – Jon begins performing a rock monologue known as “Boho Days” or “30/90” about his journey with Superbia.
1993 – Jon begins workshopping a musical adaptation of La Boheme at the New York Theatre Workshop.
January 24, 1996 – Jon interviews with the New York Times on the eve of his workshop’s off-Broadway opening, now known as Rent.
January 25, 1996 – Jon suffers an aortic aneurysm in his apartment and passes away. Rent opens.
1997 – The Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation is created, and continues to grant awards to brave new songwriters.
2001 – Jon’s rock monologue is adapted off-Broadway into tick, tick…BOOM!
2005 – RENT was adapted into a major motion picture.
2021 – tick, tick…BOOM! Was also adapted into a major motion picture.
And now, you are here.