BWW Reviews: Jonathan Larson's TICK...TICK...BOOM! at SoLuna Studio

As a "renthead", I am thrilled to see Jonathan Larson's autobiographical musical Tick, Tick... BOOM! part of SoLuna Studio's 2015 season. The cast at the charming Long Island venue is super talented and does the show justice in a forum in which it should be presented; an intimate theatre.

Mr. Larson started performing this raw and real story in 1990. After the Pulitzer and Tony award winner's untimely death in 1996 - just before his iconic creation Rent opened - David Auburn cleaned up the piece into what we see today. This revised edition started performances off-Broadway in 2001 and has grown into many international and frequent local incarnations.

SoLuna's Artistic Director Karen Braun wonderfully directs the young cast headed up strongly by Randy Rice as Jon. The story follows Jon, a starving playwright, looking to make it big on the Great White Way. Unfortunately, this is taking longer than he had hoped. As his thirtieth birthday is approaching, Jon is having doubts about the career path he's taken. Does he continue to follow his heart and something he loves - the theatre - that could possibly never come into fruition or venture to a secure, well paying, but uninterested field like his best friend and former actor Michael (portrayed by Jason Donohue)? He must also consider this is affecting his relationship with his girlfriend Susan (portrayed by Alicia Bagley).

Mr. Rice, Ms. Bagley, and Mr. Donohue - all Soluna vets - are top notch in their respective roles. Ms. Braun is also part of the cast in several stunning dance sequences representing Jon's conflicting imagination. The rest of the stellar company - comprised of recurring players and newbies to the SoLuna family - all sing the rock score superbly. Additional highlights include Ally Uss with an exquisite performance of "Come To Your Senses" and Mr. Rice with a moving rendition of "Why" that left some stunned.

For the set, cleverly created by Megan Pietroforte and Dan Kiernan, old sheet music hangs all around the stage, an elevated platform stands in the back, and, perhaps, some imagination from the audience members is needed. You will see that Ms. Pietroforte and Mr. Kiernan make great use of the stage. Furthermore, not only will you be near the stage, it's not high off the ground giving attendees the opportunity to truly feel the emotions from the performers.

And so, it seems Tick, Tick... BOOM! is another hit for Hauppauge's SoLuna Studio. This is a show that will make you reflect, maybe cry, and, frankly, have a host of many emotions. Naturally... this is a Jonathan Larson production. Come to this show with an open mind and heart because this cast will really take you on a journey.

Tick, Tick... BOOM! is presented by SoLuna Studio of Hauppauge, Long Island, through March 8th. By Jonathan Larson, Direction & Choreography & Costumes by Karen Braun, Set & Lights & Sound by Megan Pietroforte, Musical Direction by Danny Passadino, Assistant Director & Set & Costumes by Dan Kiernan, Assistant Choreography by Nick Caron. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 761-6602 or visit

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From This Author Melissa Giordano

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