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tick, tick…BOOM! — Storeyboard Entertainment

Jonathan Larson's semi-autobiographical musical follows an aspiring composer trying to make it big in New York City's musical theatre scene.
By Sarah Ward
December 21, 2022
By Sarah Ward
December 21, 2022

If you're a fan of musical theatre, then you know the name Jonathan Larson, the creator and composer behind smash-hit production Rent. And, you likely know his story, too, with the playwright and lyricist passing away at the age of 35 on the day that that now-huge show premiered its first off-Broadway preview performance, and never seeing the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning phenomenon that it would become.

Before that, Larson also created another musical called tick, tick…BOOM!; however, it didn't chart the same path. Instead, the semi-autobiographical piece was performed as a solo work before his death, following a character called Jon who worried that he'd made the wrong decision by chasing his dream of becoming a composer. After Larson died, tick, tick…BOOM! was reimagined as a three-actor show, then made its way from off-Broadway to off-West End, as well as West End itself. And, in 2021, it took the leap to the screen, too, courtesy of Netflix — in a film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Andrew Garfield, the latter turning in an Oscar-nominated performance as Larson.

That's a whole lot of history behind Sydney's latest big musical announcement: that tick, tick…BOOM! will bring its Australian mainstage debut tour to the Harbour City in 2023. First, it'll run seasons at Melbourne's Comedy Theatre and Brisbane's QPAC Playhouse, before arriving at Sydney's Lyric Theatre from Thursday, April 20–Sunday, April 23.

If you're wondering about tick, tick…BOOM!'s narrative, the rock musical is set in 1990, with promising young composer Jon as its focus. He's almost 30, living in New York City, and life as an artist isn't turning out as he planned — so he has to decide what to do next.

The production is an ode to theatre and a tribute to New York, too, and has kept proving popular since it premiered in its current format off-Broadway in 2001.

Playing Larson in Australia: multiple Logie-winner Hugh Sheridan (Packed to the Rafters, House Husbands, Five Bedrooms), with Elenoa Rokobaro (Rent) as Susan, Finn Alexander (Urinetown) as Michael, and Sheridan Adams (Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical) and Andrew Coshan (A View From a Bridge) also among the cast.

Also, tick, tick…BOOM!'s upcoming Aussie seasons will be produced by Adrian Storey from StoreyBoard Entertainment (Chess the Musical, Barnum, Follies, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and directed by Tyran Parke (Chess the Musical, Barnum, Follies, Sunday in the Park with George).

Check out the trailer for the Netflix film below:

Updated October 31, 2022.

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