Tick, Tick…BOOM!

Tick, Tick…Boom is a musical movie adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical one-man show of the same name. Starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Lin Manuel Miranda, the film explores life, love, and art in Greenwich Village, NY.

The film rhythmically bounces between the performance of the one-man show and Jonathan’s journey of writing a new rock musical, all while navigating the struggles of the starving artist. Andrew Garfield is touching and nuanced as Jonathan, and surprisingly shines as a wonderful singer.

There’s an overwhelming sense of time running out, “tick, tick…,” as Jonathan approaches his thirtieth birthday. We get to witness the artist at work. There’s a tension between needing to create, to produce, to become – before this looming deadline. His muse is a sum of parts: his girlfriend, his best friend, the city he loves and the many friends who are dying.

There’s so much talent in this film. Andrew Garfield is transforming. Alexandra Shipp is enchanting as Jonathan’s partner Susan. His best friend Michael (Robin de Jesus) believes in Jonathan so much he pushes through being taken for granted. Vanessa Hudgens is radiant. There are numerous cameos from Broadway favorites that speak to the greatness and appreciation of this creative work. Lin Manuel Miranda elevates this cast, surrounded by friends in a loving tribute to Jonathan Larson.

One of my favorite songs is Sunday, a hat tip to Sunday Afternoon in the Park with George. I haven’t seen that musical, but I am familiar with “Sunday” as my daughter performed it at Broadway Dreams a couple of years ago. Those last few lines, along with the visual of Georges Seraut’s famous painting helped me connect the dots. Also, big fan of Boho Days, mostly because of my love for Rent.

I cried so much watching this. I’m drawn to the need for artists to create and their courage to put it out there. To “write what you know,” and feel, and see, and then to share it with an audience that reflects the creation. Give and take in Bohemia.

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