Review by Jody Hooker
Just prior to the opening night of RENT in New York City, its creator and composer Jonathan Larson tragically passed away before getting to witness his masterpiece. But, before RENT, Larson had created another musical. And just like his Tony Award winning smash hit, it was another piece of genius left behind.
The year is 1990 and a promising young composer is grappling with a career as an artist, whilst staring down turning 30 in New York City. Whilst being torn between fear and love, he faces one of life’s greatest questions… What do we do with the time we have?
A love letter to theatre and New York City alike, tick, tick…BOOM! is a true hidden treasure of Broadway, that will inspire anyone who’s had to fight for what they want!
One of Australia’s favourite performers of stage and screen, Hugh Sheridan stars as Jonathan Larson in the much-loved musical!
Produced by StoreyBoard Entertainment and Directed by Tyran Parke with Music Direction by Kohan van Sambeeck, tick, tick…BOOM! is a true bucket-list piece of theatre to witness for any musical lover.
The Sydney production of Tick Tick Boom starring Hugh Sheridan is a masterful tribute to the late playwright Jonathan Larson, and a testament to the power of live theatre. The show’s exceptional cast and creative team have succeeded in creating a deeply moving and powerful production that is sure to impress all Tick Tick Boom fans!
Sheridan’s portrayal of Jon, the struggling composer at the heart of the story, is nothing short of extraordinary. He brings a vulnerability and rawness to the character that is both captivating and heartbreaking. His emotive stage presence brings Larson’s music and lyrics to life with an authenticity behind his performance.
Elenoa Rokobaro who plays Susan, amongst a myriad of other characters, captivates with her strong stage presence, gifting us all with her powerhouse vocals which soared through the theatre. Rokobaro was powerful and inspiring and had performed the role with sincerity, leaving the audience begging for more.
The supporting cast is equally impressive, with each performer bringing their own unique talents and energy to the production. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and their ability to work seamlessly together is a testament to the talent and dedication of the show’s creative team.
Notable mention goes to Finn Alexander as Michael who transitioned seamlessly between each character and stunned with his strong vocals.
The set design is minimalistic by set designer Christina Smith, with the stage transforming effortlessly from one scene to the next, transporting the audience into Jon’s world with the use of a few steel shapes choreographed seamlessly into the piece by the phenomenal Freya List and two brick walls which layed a blank canvas for Matt Scotts impeccable lighting design enhancing the story through use of light and shadow adding a contemporary edge to the production, while the costumes and makeup are understated yet effective in enhancing the show’s overall aesthetic. Musical Director Kohan Van Sambeeck leads a tight band of 5 which incorporate smoothly into the set further enhancing the story.
Tyran Parke directs this minimalist musical impeccably, incorporating all aspects of lighting, set and movement into one beautifully stitched together piece of theatre. This show entices not as a large-scale musical embodied with dance numbers, but rather as a true work of art bringing life to this story concentrating on the main themes and storytelling elements of the production.
Overall, the Sydney production of Tick Tick Boom, although not a show that suits everyone, is a must-see show for anyone who loves all things Jonathon Larson. With its moving story, incredible performances, and exceptional production values, this production is a fitting tribute to Jonathan Larson’s legacy and a powerful reminder of the enduring power of theatre to inspire and uplift.
Tick Tick…BOOM! Is playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre till the 26th of April 2023 https://ticktickboomthemusical.com.au/