tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center

MusicAndPassion
Broadway Star
joined:9/14/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 10:13pm
I just got back from this amazing production! Went to the pre-show talk with Jeanine Tesori and Jonathan Larson's sister and father. It was very nice to get a personal glimpse into the man who created tonight's show, the phenomenon of Rent, and inspired countless people.

The show was amazing. Lin Manuel Miranda gives a truly heartbreaking, moving and realistic portrayal of a man in fear of turning 30. He was a bit pitchy here or there, but the fact that he was on stage for 90 minutes was an incredible feat. Hats off to a performance that easily makes my list of one of the best performances I've seen on stage. Karen Olivo makes an impressive return to the New York Stage and her Susan clearly had many similarities to her own life (as per Playbill articles in the past month). Her "Come To Your Senses" was stunning. Leslie Odom Jr.'s voice was great and his Michael, while role with more off-stage development than on stage, really moved Lin Manual Miranda's Jonathan throughout the show. All in all the performances, voices and acting were truly electrifying to an audience anticipating a great night of theatre.

In the middle of the show Lin's microphone was acting up and completely went out. A sound/stage manager walked on and gave him a handheld mic. For those who know the show, this scene was after Michael gets Jonathan the job and they are brainstorm ideas about the food products. After Jonathan's hilarious line, Lin did a mic-drop that had the entire theatre in stitches. Very appropriate for the character, Lin, and the mood of the show at that point. Later on, after "Sugar" someone came on to replace Lin's mic. With his back to the audience, Karen Olivo was left to dance and help pass the time. Leslie Odom Jr. came back out and ad-libbed a scene with Karen Olivo's character for about a minute. Personally, I did not take away from a grand night of theatre whatsoever. Lin turned back around for his next line, "Rehearsal went well." Audience in stitches again.

I love live theatre.





Updated On: 6/25/14 at 10:13 PM
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 10:53pm
I too very much enjoyed Tick, Tick...Boom! tonight. I've always liked the score, but it was the book that impressed me the most- well the book specifically Lin-Manuel Miranda's line readings. I was completely invested in his character, and this was my favorite performance I've seen him give to date. He displayed some excellent timing this evening.

Karen handled Come To Your Senses very well and received some well-earned and sustained applause afterward. It's nice that she was able to make a little trip back to New York, and I hope she continues to do so in the future.

Leslie Odom Jr had a lot of fun with Lin performing No More (a song that I don't think plays as well on disc as it did tonight in the theater).

The three of them meshed well together, and as mentioned above, the vamping while Lin changed out his mic was a lot of fun. Leslie stayed in character and asked Karen questions about Superbia- what was the source material, had she read the book, who was the author, do you remember any of the dances from the show? Great, great fun.

Louder Than Words reminded me a lot of Light There Be Light from N2N, and I could see how the piece influenced other rock musicals too.

The show was at once a time capsule of the 90s (complaints about Broadway tickets reaching the horrible height of $50!) and still felt current and relatable. I guess one of the marks of a good work is the ability to remain relevant with the passage of time.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 10:56pm
Thanks for the reports! I'm looking forward to seeing this on Saturday.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 10:57pm
Tickets reached $50 way before the '90s.
yes, you
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:05pm
Ha, well the book will have to be blamed for that then. Lin had a line about all the shows on Broadway being British imports and the top ticket being a ridiculous $50.

What was the top ticket price in the early 90s?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
iamjwk
Swing
joined:5/16/13
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:11pm
I am going on Saturday night. What is the running time? Did they start on time? Thanks!
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:13pm
It ran 100 minutes- without all the mic problems it should run 95.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:16pm
The show should be taking place in 1990. The $50 tickets had been around for about two years at least by then.
yes, you
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:21pm
So TTB is actually occurring, theoretically, "simultaneously" with the events Larson ended up writing about in RENT, which has somewhat flexibly set its timeline at Christmas 1989-Christmas 1990.

Speaking of the influence this show had, it wasn't until I saw TTB that I completely got the joke/reference to the final scenes of the show in Avenue Q (and on the cast album) that at the end, Princeton says "I should take all these people and experiences, and put it into a show!" When Larson did it, he changed Broadway history. When Princeton says it, about ten years later, it just sounds stupid.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:31pm
Jonathan Larson turned 30 in February 1990.
yes, you
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:36pm
One of the first lines of the play establishes that it is January 2(?), 1990.

It's reasonable to think the events take place over one month, although an exact date for the birthday party is never given.

When did Broadway tickets first hit $100? The Producers, or was it earlier?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:40pm
I've never cared for Lin's acting/sing/rapping. It all just seemed so forced, so I'm glad to hear he's great in this. I'm sad I won't get to see it, but I hope I get to hear her "Come To Your Senses." I love that song!

EDIT: Just watched that preview video. His voice is still pretty terrible. And his acting.. I'm not a fan.
Updated On: 6/25/14 at 11:40 PM
HBBrock
Broadway Star
joined:6/11/07
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/25/14 at 11:54pm
I've seen hundreds of shows, and tonight was one of the best ever. The show was SPECTACULAR.

muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 12:04am
I can't wait to see this on Saturday
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
RUkiddingme
Understudy
joined:12/9/11
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 12:05am
So nice to hear some of these songs again! Had a great time tonight!

But let's be honest - this is not a great show. This is not a great production. There is some serious miscasting going on.

Easily the cheapest Encores evening ever semi produced. Arguably the most unrehearsed.

Worth $25 to see Karen hit it out of the park!
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 01:01am
"When did Broadway tickets first hit $100? "

Nicholas Nickleby charged $100 on Broadway for the full 8-hour 2-part production back in October of 1981, though that was certainly an anomaly. I'd just moved to NYC out of grad school and in no way could defend spending so much for a night of theater, no matter how great. (I regretted that decision, and coughed up the $100 5 years later when it came back to Broadway in the same production but without that brilliant original cast. Damned if it wasn't worth every penny after all!)
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 08:44am
I was there, too; the talk with Jonathan Larson's father and sister was both funny and touching and offered a personal glimpse into what made Larson tick (no pun intended). I'd only heard the score before last evening; had never never seen it performed. The acting was more than fine, but I did miss Raul Esparza's powerhouse vocals. Olivo and Odom truly delivered in both acting and singing; Miranda more on the former than the latter. Loved the Sondheim homage touches, especially the number set in the diner. The mic flub was hilarious, and the house was in tune with the goof. Glad I caught this one, and just $27 for the second row center! Wish that price structure applied to the winter/spring Encores! series, too.
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 08:55am
re: Come to Your Senses. During the Jane St. run, this song brought the house down EVERY night, no matter who was playing Susan at the time. The most favorably received - Amy Spanger, the original Susan.
<-----craves juicy pizza
wickedfan11
Broadway Star
joined:6/17/06
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 09:24am
How are extreme side orchestra seats at City Center?
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 10:12am
I'm going Friday and could not be more excited. I used to drive around Long Island in my little Nissan Maxima blasting the cast recording and singing along at the top of my lungs. I have so many memories of singing the songs with friends, like the one who was pretty much responsible for getting me through high school alive. I've never actually seen it performed live. I am so, so, so excited. And I'm probably going to be a sobbing mess. You can find me in row A of the Mezzanine if you're there. If I'm not there, there will probably be a puddle in my place.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
teresa2
Understudy
joined:4/1/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 02:25pm


I was there last night also and really enjoyed it. Had second row seats for $27.00 and they were excellent!!!
Leslie, Lin and Karen were all wonderful and did a great job. It was so good to see Karen on stage again!!! I loved In The Heights with Lin and Karen and I also really liked Leap of Faith with Leslie. Its a shame it didn't last longer.

forgetmenotnyc
Stand-by
joined:1/29/09
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 08:08pm
I went into TICK TICK BOOM! kinda green not having much knowledge of this show. I guess for those died-in-the-wool Jonathan Larson fans this show is nothing less than an epiphany. Unfortunately I was NOT IMPRESSED. The 'rock monologue' seems decidedly midtown what with descriptions of the landscape that I guess was exotic to someone who spends most of their time in Westchester or downtown - while the leap to political philosophies at the end seemed a bit glued on since in the earlier parts of the show there were little of those meanderings or tendencies.

Some of the music strikes my ear as really unappealing & some vocal harmonies had my head turning sideways like a dog encountering a siren or other discordance. On the other hand, some of his lyric work is just downright inventive & original. I esp. liked "Therapy."

It's good to see Karen back where she is able to hold her own (even though I didn't believe her character to be a dancer what with her general physical carriage which tended to be schlumpy. What she DOES bring to the score though is FULL-VOICE, something that her co-star does not seem to be able to muster up very well.

I'm actually concerned that this little bit of miscasting may get worse during this short run because when Mr. Miranda pushes his voice he goes off-pitch. Don't get me wrong, he's not awful. Matter of fact his acting choices seem right. I just think putting this small work into the large theatre raises the need to have singers who make fuller voiced choices. What he is doing would probably work much better in a small intimate space. It just appears that what has worked for him in the past, his great way with interpreting his own rhythmic text, was really 'his voice' & even though he pulled off Encores "Merry We Roll Along" a couple seasons ago - his singing chops just aren't up to the demands of this show.

They have created a production which visually fills the stage even though it was kinda comical to have a small mylar strip curtain come down behind the small 3 member bandstand to signify a different locale even though it seemed hundreds of feet from the stage action. Leslie Odom Jr. seems to ride middle ground but I kept feeling as though he needs to speed up most of his choices. The use of a couple stage hands were well used to fill out a couple of scenes. The diner set for 1 number seemed a bit excessive even though I liked it. Wish I could get my hand on the prop stack of pancakes after the run. I think they could hold their own in a POP Art show right alongside Claes Oldenburg's classics.

Hopefully some of my early observations were just that & that things here will come together. The BOOM drum effect was nice but abandoned early on, yet the Sondheim static effect was nice but went on too long. Such is the nature of works like this. I did appreciate the opportunity to learn more about this man who brought many young people into the musical theatre scene who otherwise wouldn't have, so maybe all it needs is a good couple of performances with some of City Centers finest audiences to help it find its proverbial wings.

Updated On: 6/26/14 at 08:08 PM
orangeskittles
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 08:43pm
"I guess for those died-in-the-wool Jonathan Larson fans this show is nothing less than an epiphany."

Eh. Maybe for some.

tick tick BOOM was never meant to be a show. It was a piecemeal production of a bunch of cabaret shows that Jonathan Larson did to fulfill himself creatively. After he died, his friends and family arranged the monologues and the songs into a semblance of a musical as a tribute to him. So yes, it doesn't all fit thematically, but it was never going to be the next Sunday in the Park with George. More like the next Putting it Together.

I love the show for what it is. I've seen 3 productions and heard probably 10. It's a great tribute to Larson considering how little of his work we actually got to hear, and it captures his tone more effectively than Rent did, but that's an essay for another time.

All that said, this casting didn't even inspire me to make the trip to see it.
Like a firework unexploded
Wanting life but never knowing how
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 09:14pm
Question - I just started watching the video of Miranda singing that was posted in Isherwood's review. I'm sorry to have to say this, but after about 20 seconds I stopped it. Almost every note was off-pitch Is this how he sings in the show or was this video just a fluke?
<-----craves juicy pizza
jawjuhh
Understudy
joined:5/29/11
tick, tick...BOOM! at City Center
Posted: 6/26/14 at 10:16pm
I wasn't that impressed with the show but it was worth it to see Karen Olivo perform, Come to Your Senses was so incredible.

My only question: why is Sugar a song in this? It was just such a bizarre moment that took me out of the show.

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