Saturday, May 23, 2020

Today In Theatre History

Anyone that knows me, knows that my favorite Broadway show of all time is Rent. Not only did I see the original cast ten times, but I also saw the show a total of twenty-five times during it's twelve year run on the Great White Way. What can I say? I was a fan. However, most people tend to forget that Jonathan Larson wrote several shows before Rent. One of those was Tick, Tick, Boom. Originally conceived as a solo piece called Boho Days, it first premiered Off-Off-Broadway in a workshop production at Second Stage Theatre in September 1990, before going on to open at the Village Gate Theatre in November 1991, under the title we know it as today.

Oh and also he called it a "Rock Monologue" which as it turns out was a new form of theatre at the time. Always the innovator. Set in New York City in 1990, Tick, Tick, Boom tells the story of Jon, a composer, who is nearing his 30th Birthday, and depressed about his career, and the state of his relationships with his girlfriend Susan, and his childhood friend Michael. Now while the show didn't up being the success that he hoped, it did manage to attract the attention of up and coming producer Jeffrey Seller, who became a champion of the young artists work.

And well you know the rest. Seller teamed up with fellow producers Kevin McCollum and Alan Gordon, along with the New York Theatre Workshop, and they went on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical for Jonathan Larson's masterpiece Rent. Sadly, he never lived long enough to see his success. On January 25, 1996, Jonathan passed away from an aortic aneurysm at the age of thirty-five. But his legacy lives on, and so will his words and music. Thank you Jonathan Larson. Oh and what happened today in theatre history? Tick, Tick, Boom began previews today at the Jane Street Theatre. May 23, 2011. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

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