Tick, Tick … Boom! Tackles Life of ‘Rent’ Composer Jonathan

When Clap, clack… Boom! – Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut in which Andrew Garfield starred Rent creator Jonathan Larson – premieres November 19 on Netflix, it will be the first time Hollywood tackles the life of the eminent composer, who died suddenly on March 1. RentThe first off-Broadway preview remains, 25 years later, one of theater’s most tragic and cynical legends.

The film, based on the three-character show of the same name, originally premiered in June 2001 at the 280-seat Jane Street Theater in the West Village. (This space has become the ballroom of a boutique hotel.) That production was in turn based on an autobiographical solo musical that Larson had previously written (and occasionally performed) on. Rent. Larson has described the piece as a “musical monologue” and it follows his character – a composer named Jon who lives in a SoHo trolley and works at the Moondance Diner (as Larson did). – as he grapples with the challenges of creating art for a mostly hospitable commercial theater industry. (The title refers to his crippling anxiety, with the show opening with the sound of a ticking clock and Jon saying, “The sound you’re hearing isn’t a technical issue. It’s not a technical problem.) musical cues. It’s not a joke. It’s the sound of a man’s growing anxiety. I’m that man.”)

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In 2001, CHEAP as Clap, clack… Boom! a “moving and exciting tribute.”
The Hollywood Reporter

Larson’s initial mentor was none other than Stephen Sondheim, who met Larson when he was a college student and was impressed with his work. The Boom! the song “Sunday” is an homage to Sunday in the park with George composer, and the post-Broadway show featured an authentic recording of Sondheim praising Larson. Like CHEAP The review said: “There are no people with dry eyes in the house.”

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RentLarson’s first project after Boom!, which began as a staged reading in 1993 at the New York Theater Workshop. Larson died January 25, 1996, of an aortic dissection; The opening show that night was postponed by one day. The production moved to Broadway on April 29 of that year and lasted 12 years and 5,123 performances.

This story first appeared in the November 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

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