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  tick, tick... BOOM! at Stage 773

tick, tick... BOOM!

Stage 773
1225 W Belmont Ave Chicago

ick, tick... BOOM! is Larson’s semi-autobiographical story of Jon, an aspiring composer anxiously approaching his 30th birthday. Jon’s girlfriend wants to get married and leave New York for a more conventional life, his best friend is earning a fortune on Madison Avenue, and Jon is still waiting on tables while trying to create the great American musical. An inspiring story of a struggling artist who chooses to follow his dreams, tick, tick... BOOM! features a dynamic pop-rock score blended with traditional musical theater styles, in what many believe to be Larson’s homage to Stephen Sondheim.

Thru - Jun 10, 2012

Price: $38

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-327-5252

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

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  tick, tick... BOOM! Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Although it was produced on Broadway and, you might argue, was a precursor to such self-aware pieces as "[title of show]," which opens at Northlight Theatre next week, "tick, tick" is a simple, 90-minute show with a familiar narrative about a young man turning 30 and worrying about what people in the punishing world of the performing arts at that seemingly terrifying precipice tend to worry about: Will my career ever get going? Can I make it work with my girlfriend? Isn't it funny how my less-talented friends in the corporate world seem to have so much more money? It's a little snapshot of the struggling life of a composer trying to get to Broadway. But unlike, say, television's "Smash," of which it will perhaps put you briefly and painfully in mind, it is searingly honest, frank, and unabashedly personal. And several of the songs, especially "Why" and "Louder than Words," soar. But it is a small canvas. Larson, who died in 1996, was just writing about himself at a particular moment."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Originally performed by Larson as a solo work, it was revised after his death by playwright David Auburn as a 90-minute work for three actors. It is now receiving an altogether bravura revival by Chicago’s Porchlight Music Theatre, with turbo-charged direction and choreography by Adam Pelty (an accomplished Chicago-bred performer with Broadway credits), terrific pit band-meets-rock band musical direction by Diana Lawrence, and a stellar cast."
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Hedy Weiss

Centerstage - Recommended

"...Jonathan Larson, the Pulitizer Prize-winning composer of “Rent,” is the subject of this autobiographical musical. Larson, who died suddenly in 1996, the day before “Rent” was to open, had previously written what he called a rock monologue that eventually evolved into this 90-minute 3-character musical, with a fleshed-out book by playwright David Auburn. This off-Broadway hit is noteworthy, not only because the musical provides the world with another work by a talented young composer, but because it offers insight into Larson’s tumultuous personal life."

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Pelty’s jazzy choreography enlivens the dreary subject matter and the production is capably sung, but the strength of the character relationships doesn’t match the vocals. Considering the musical’s solo beginnings, it makes sense that Jon’s inner conflict is the best defined. Aguilar imbues the character with a naïveté that balances his selfish sense of entitlement, portraying a man-child finally forced to grow up."
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Oliver Sava

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...Porchlight Music Theatre’s production is engaging and tuneful. It hints at the style that would make RENT into a hit rock opera. Pop rock musical fans will enjoy this show. Lovers of RENT and pop/rock musicals will enjoy this worthy production – lovers of old-time Broadway may resist."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...Some of the problem may be Joseph Fosco's muted sound design (or the actor's diction) which made me miss a great many of the show's lyrics. Diana Lawrence's musical direction is snappy, and the band members are good sports in moments they are on-stage in Pelty's staging. Ann Davis' welded two story set impresses. Pelty's choreography has some sweet, inventive moments. But the production's finest design element is the projection design by Anna Henson and Rasean Davonte Johnson which adds tremendously to the texture and story-telling of the evening, even though the New York winter was also left out of their mix."

David Zak

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Porchlight Music Theatre, a leader in bringing new musical works, new innovative works, re-imagining older musicals and showcasing some of Chicago’s fine young talents, has really hit the jackpot with its production of Jonathan Larson’s “tick,tick…BOOM!”, a musical auto biography of Larson’s own fear of growing old without ever hitting success in his chosen field."
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Alan Bresloff

Huffington Post - Highly Recommended

"... Tick, Tick... Boom!,which is essentially the precursor to Rent,is a largely autobiographical musical about the late composer's artistic struggles as he begins to ease into his rock-meets-musical-theatre sound. Porchlight Music Theatre's superbly pitched production captures Larson's artistic valley just before he entered the highest peak of his tragically short career (Larson died of a rare, misdiagnosed heart disorder in 1996 just before Rent's first major production Off-Broadway)."
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Bob Bullen

  tick, tick... BOOM! Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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