Closed 1h 30m
Tick, Tick ... Boom!
Midtown W
85

Tick, Tick ... Boom! NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(255 Reviews)
Positive
95%
Mixed
5%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great singing, Entertaining, Great acting, Resonant, Absorbing

About the Show

Keen Company revives this autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning creator of 'Rent.'

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Member Reviews (255)

91
Entertaining, Dated, Great staging, Epic, Absorbing

See it if You are a Jonathan Larson fan, or if you aren't, because you should be. A charming autobiographical glimpse of his life.

Don't see it if Give this delightful show a chance unless you know nothing about Larson,or have no interest in his story. Read more

91
Great singing, Intelligent, Reminiscent, Fun, Romantic

See it if You are a Rent fan and appreciate excellent vocal performances.

Don't see it if Don't like Rent or stories about struggling artists. Read more

Critic Reviews (29)

October 20th, 2016

"An affectionate, emotionally slight production...If Blaemire lacks the preternatural charm Esparza lent the role, he brings comic ease and ready sympathy...Salazar and Renée seem less suited to their roles...You can sense the director Jonathan Silverstein’s enthusiasm for the material in the bright pacing, the sprightly use of the onstage band, the generosity toward the performers. But surely the show would resonate more richly if he had helped them realize the relationships more fully."
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October 20th, 2016

"Capably revived by Keen Company’s Jonathan Silverstein, the musical offers an entertaining if uneven look at artistic anxiety...The stakes seem somewhat low in this version; although Blaemire is likable as always, one misses the intensity that Raúl Esparza and Lin-Manuel Miranda brought to the role. Still, Larson’s untimely death shadows the musical with poignancy. Jonathan is even righter than he fears: You never know when life is going to lower the boom."
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October 20th, 2016

"Its rough edges have been lovingly kept intact...While Auburn's cobbled-together book is little more than serviceable, Larson's pop-rock score is quite a bit more...The songs are consistently tuneful and peppy, enlivened by witty lyrics often reminiscent of Jonathan's idol, Stephen Sondheim...This version of the show lacks the impact of the original production or the 2014 City Center Encores! rendition...but it works quite well on its own terms."
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October 20th, 2016

"This mounting not only presents a little-known masterwork in all its glory, but also leaves us heartbroken at the prospect of what could have been had Larson's life not ended in 1996...Blaemire, a writer and performer who's seen his share of theatrical heartbreak, brings to the table an intrinsic understanding of the highs and lows of show business, one that grounds his Jonathan in reality...Unfortunately, the three gifted stars are done a major disservice by Evans' muddled sound design."
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October 24th, 2016

"A superb Off-Broadway revival...The score has a solid hard rock foundation flooded with smart and emotionally thick lyrics...Nick Blaemire bears a substantial resemblance to Larson...In what is perhaps the quietest and most introspective 11 o'clock number in musical theatre, he lovingly expresses Jonathan's need to always be creating...'Tick, Tick...Boom!' is an incisive self-portrait and perhaps the most underappreciated musical that has played on or Off-Broadway this century."
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October 28th, 2016

"Jonathan Silverstein's production is alert to the material's constantly shifting moods, by turns sassy, satirical, and heartbreaking...'Tick, Tick...Boom!' is a chamber piece but it packs an emotional punch that many bigger musicals might envy. This is especially so in the two climactic numbers...'Tick, Tick...Boom!' is that rarest of things, a musical with a soul, our awareness of Larson's real-life fate only deepening its message of carpe diem."
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October 20th, 2016

"No production I've seen since the original has done more than this one to highlight the urgency beneath the uncertainty for everyone, not just Jonathan...At its best, the show is emotionally overwhelming, with Silverstein ensuring maximum impact through his crisp, focused staging and smart application of Jennifer Paar's costumes and Josh Bradford's lights...It's as good as you could hope for, and a stirring reminder of the boundless opportunities that still exist within life and theatre alike."
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October 27th, 2016

"Passionate at its core but sluggish in plotting...This narrative framework showcases Larson’s catchy rock/pop score that is well-crafted but without any real standout songs...Mr. Blaemire makes up for a lack of innate charisma with his exceptional acting and singing talents. Ciara Renée as Susan and George Salazar as Michael are very appealing...Drags at times despite the best efforts of everyone involved but ultimately it is a spirited rendition of Jonathan Larson’s vision.
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October 23rd, 2016

"While Larson’s original 'Boom!' may have been in part a love letter to his idol, this current incarnation, as directed by Silverstein, is a love letter to Larson, and wonderfully so...Watching Jon find his happy ending is satisfying, but it makes you ache for what could have been: that Larson could’ve gone on to write so much more is a very real tragedy. Twenty years after his death, 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' is a hopeful and fitting tribute."
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October 20th, 2016

"The cast perform all tasks–zipping the very movable furniture, tables, chairs and piano around the basically bare stage, as they sing and dance...Special kudos to director Jonathan Silverstein as his nimble hand works wonders deftly moving the 90-minute piece along. By the time it’s over, you’ll wonder where the time went. This is a BIG little show with an exuberant, high-energy cast that punctuates the humor and levels it with just the right amount of pathos."
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October 21st, 2016

"Charming, touching, relevant and well-performed...Unfortunately, the chemistry between Clara Renee and Nick Blaemire is not as palpable as between Blaemire and Salazar...I truly enjoyed it. I was moved, I identified with the essential struggles of the protagonist and thought they were universal and timeless. But I walked away from the performance with questions running around my head...But I wouldn’t have missed it, and if you’re a fan of musical theater, you shouldn’t either."
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October 20th, 2016

"A sweet, searching tale about artists and the sacrifices they make for their art...The singing and performances by the three leads and the onstage band are all top-notch. The songs are just okay, mostly forgettable, and some of the lyrics are strangely incoherent and often silly ('Sugar' is about Jon’s love for Twinkies). The story, about friendship, art and sacrifice, is way more compelling."
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October 28th, 2016

"On the downside, 'Tick Tick…Boom' makes us compare this work to the legendary 'Rent' which earned Larson three Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. And that comparison isn’t always kind...Blaemire is perfectly cast, not only looking the part, but also engaging and dynamic...Director Jonathan Silverstein and choreographer Christine O’Grady do an impressive job keeping this story moving along at such an engaging pace."
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November 3rd, 2016

"The delightful autobiographical musical that clearly delineates Mr. Larson’s path to success...Keen Company has wisely chosen this young musical to celebrate Larson’s life and craft on this 20th anniversary year of 'Rent.' Under Jonathan Silverstein’s visionary and judicious direction, the cast captures the importance of making choices and determining to stand by those choices that are authentic and honest...A reminder that everyone clutches at life knowing it could end at any moment."
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November 11th, 2016

"The show belongs to Nick Blaemire, who portrays Jonathan with geeky sensuality. His love for his work (both actor and composer) is infectious, and manages to fill the Acorn Theatre’s too-large proscenium. The theatre swallows the show, in spite of Jonathan Silverstein’s swift direction. Christine O’Grady’s choreography feels unnecessarily ambitious at times. But there are plentiful moments that offer a sense of Larson’s blooming talent."
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October 20th, 2016

"In practically every moment of this 90-minute piece’s self-aware dialogue and each note of the remarkable score by Larson, one is acutely aware of just how tragic the writer’s unexpected death was in 1996...Blaemire perfectly captures each of Jon’s emotions and mood swings without ever losing our empathy...One of the pluses of Silverstein’s simple, sincere production is how well it brings out the true depth of friendship between Jon and Michael even as their life’s paths begin to diverge."
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October 20th, 2016

"Larson’s emotional investment and his verbal and musical imagination go far in turning narrative dross into theatre gold. While not every song is dynamite—several sound similar to other musical theatre numbers—enough are standouts to make them worth waiting for...This revival of ‘Tick, Tick...BOOM!’ deserves an extended run. But just in case it doesn’t get one I recommend that you hasten down to 42nd Street and see what all the ticking’s about."
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October 20th, 2016

"Energetic, well sung and a slice of time captured by the late Larson...The thing missing here is chemistry and a sense of urgency for time running out. The stakes never seem high enough. Silverstein obviously loves this material, but his direction is all over the place. The vocal arrangements and orchestrations by Ormus are so well done, thanks to musical director Joey Chancey, who brings out the best in this material...For a musical journey 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' is the show to see."
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October 29th, 2016

"Director Jonathan Silverstein uses the stage particularly well. Characterization and chemistry are less well attended. On the one hand, this is a young, hyper-personal, self-indulgent piece with little melody and cliché-ridden lyrics. On the other, it describes circumstances with which it’s easy to empathize, has an appealing lead, and is energetically and imaginatively staged."
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October 29th, 2016

"It drives home how great a loss Larson's death was for musical theater...The rock-infused songs run from love ballads to a humorous number about working the weekend brunch shift at a diner that slyly references Sondheim's 'Sunday'...Nick Blaemire, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Larson, is totally winning as the conflicted Jon...He channels Larson with such authentic sincerity that his performance is as openly emotional as the best of his idol's songs."
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October 21st, 2016

"Just plain great...The all-around skillful team staging this 'Tick' does right by the show’s simple, focused story, letting its sincerity and real-life evocativeness shine. It’s a tale that very much hangs together...There’s plenty of humor, mostly the sweet kind, throughout...The lyrics too are mostly clever and funny, lapsing into cliché only sporadically, as in the unsatisfying closing number...When the three voices combine in harmony and counterpoint the results are thrilling."
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October 28th, 2016

"The happy ending can seem a little pat or contrived, but the depth of feeling brought to the Keen Company production, directed with verve by Keen’s artistic director Jonathan Silverstein, gives it an emotional charge...Blaemire brings an ingratiating everyman quality to the role, and he’s vigorously supported by Ciara Renée as Susan and George Salazar as Michael...Most importantly, 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' is a showcase for the versatility of Larson’s musical genius."
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October 28th, 2016

"The three person show moves at rapid speed and leaves you cheering for the entire cast...'Tick, Tick…Boom! is not nearly as familiar to audiences as 'Rent,' but one should not underestimate the excellent score...Silverstein’s staging is effective, but this new version loses some of the intimacy that the original had...Still, there is much to admire here...May not go down in history as one of the best musicals ever scripted but it is undeniably a solid one."
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October 20th, 2016

"This little musical is a treat...Good music, clever lyrics. A plot where hope and hard work are rewarded, but, sensibly and realistically, not always...The cast all have wonderfully expressive faces, strong voices that harmonize well, and they never waste the smart lyrics...Directed with obvious affection by Jonathan Silverstein, 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' doesn’t feel nearly as dated as it should, and speaks to anybody who loves the spirit of musical theatre."
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October 24th, 2016

"Blaemire plays the conflicted artist to a T, and when he gets a voice mail from Stephen Sondheim after a successful workshop, his stunned stillness is simply beautiful...The songs, by Larson, have threads within them that sound like 'Rent' trying to come out...Apart from the rather silly and pointless 'Green Green Dress,' every song has a purpose, a hook, and an identity within the work...Brilliant staging with an admirable cast and crew makes the Keen Company’s production an absolute joy."
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October 29th, 2016

"Fans of his 1996 hit rock musical are likely to thoroughly enjoy the Keen Company production of 'Tick, Tick… Boom!'...The actors, backed by four extremely talented musicians, successfully deliver Larson’s material song after song...Under Jonathan Silverstein’s direction, Blaemire’s talent is central to the production; however, it is Renée who owns it. Silverstein’s staging is fun—distinctly and expressively building the anxiety of turning 30 to a rich crescendo."
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November 7th, 2016

"The show’s message of wanting to be heard, grappling with life going by too fast, and the right road to take in life, are issues with which we all can relate...Larson managed to literally capture his life and spirit in this show. We see his relationships with friends, family, and his love life played effortlessly here by Blaemire and Salazar...The three actors in this productions have such palpable chemistry onstage that it’s a joy to watch them reenact Larson’s emotional journey."
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November 25th, 2016

"Thanks to the strong performances of Blaemire, Renée, and Salazar, it does capture the universal frustrations of trying to create art against odds that seem insurmountable...The three actors in Keen’s production perform very nicely together, although Silverstein’s uneven direction occasionally loses the energy that certain moments need...But Blaemire, Renée, and Salazar have terrific chemistry and voices, finding equal measures of humor and pathos in Larson’s self-exploration."
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October 16th, 2016

"A magnificent, relevant, and energetic production…This production has cast an amazing trio of actors with tremendous chemistry both vocally and as a true ensemble...The show is not nearly as famous as ‘Rent’ - nor is it as theatrical or heavy a story…This story is a bit smaller in scope and perhaps more personal in nature…It is such a shame as we will never know how much more we could have heard from this very talented man."
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