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Review Roundup: TICK, TICK...BOOM Opens Off-Broadway - All the Reviews!

George Salazar, Nick Blaemire and Ciara Renée star in Keen Company's production of Tick, Tick...BOOM!, a thrilling work by the late, great Jonathan Larson. The production opened last night, October 20, Off-Broadway.

Tick, Tick...BOOM! has book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson; David Auburn serves as Script Consultant; Joey Chancey will be Musical Director; Jonathan Silverstein directs, with choreography by Christine O'Grady.

Before Rent, there was Tick, Tick... BOOM! This autobiographical musical, by the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Jonathan Larson, is the story of an aspiring composer questioning his life choices on the eve of his thirtieth birthday. His girlfriend wants to get married and move out of the city, his best friend is making big bucks on Madison Avenue, but Jon is still waiting on tables and trying to write the great American musical. This exhilarating, funny, and moving work by the late Larson will speak to anyone who's ever gotten lost on their way to finding their dreams.

Let's see what the critics had to say:

Alexis Soloski, New York Times: 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.

Adam Feldman TimeOut NY: Capably revived by Keen Company's Jonathan Silverstein, the musical offers an entertaining if uneven look at artistic anxiety. Ciara Renée plays the women in Jonathan's life, all of them underdeveloped, but gets to sing the best song in the score, the plangent ballad "Come to Your Senses"; George Salazar plays the men, including Jonathan's gay best friend. 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.

Frank Scheck, Deadline: This version of the show lacks the impact of the original production or the 2014 City Center Encores! rendition starring a pre-Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr., but it works quite well on its own terms. And while no one will argue that Tick, Tick... Boom! is a major musical, it serves as a haunting reminder of a significant talent who was lost to us far too soon.

Toby Zinman, 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, anybody who has waited tables while waiting for a break, and anybody who enjoys good songs sung well.

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