Tick, Tick…Boom!’ tells the life story of an aspiring composer

By: Janice diaz De Lira

The autobiographical musical “Tick, Tick…Boom!” tells the story of playwright Jonathan Larson, based on the year he turned 30 and his struggles as an artist. 

The story begins with a 29-year old writer in 1990, who turns 30 in a couple of days and questions his career choices of aspiring to be a musical composer in New York City. 

Not only is this a story of self-fulfillment and reflection, but is based in the ‘90s, it touches on serious topics, such as the rise of AIDS and the problems within this country. 

The musical is directed by Lin- Manuel Miranda, best known for writing and composing “Hamilton” and “In the Heights.” 

The screenplay was written by Steven Levenson, who wrote for “Dear Evan Hansen.” 

Andrew Garfield, known for his roles as Peter Parker in “The Amazing Spider-Man” duology and Eduardo Saverin in “The Social Network,” brilliantly took on the role of Jonathan Larson. 

The rest of the cast includes Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesus, Vanessa Hudgens, Bradley Whitford, Joshua Henry, and more, who all added amazing contributions to the film.

Jonathan Larson’s story has been known to anyone who finds interest in musicals. 

More specifically, fans of his musical “Rent,” who know about the tragedy of Larson dying before its very first showing in 1996. 

Rather than being a story about the tragic death, it’s the story of his life and how he looks for himself, even when he is lost along the way.

 Larson is nowhere near perfect and makes his fair share of mistakes but he surrounds himself with his loved ones and uses his talents to push forward.

 It’s very obvious throughout the film that Larson is self-aware about his talent as a  composer, but feels at age 30, he shouldn’t just be an aspiring composer, but should also have accomplishments. 

Garfield does an amazing job at bringing Larson to life on the screen and exhibits the realism of his character. 

He is able to portray his emotions in such an honest way and helps the viewers really connect with him.

 Garfield’s voice has great power and it causes the audience to feel what he is feeling while singing. 

Each character does a wonderful job with singing and acting in a way that makes the audience love each character. 

Apart from Garfield’s portrayal of Larson, his best friend Michael, played by Robin de Jesus, has jovial energy throughout the movie. 

Michael is not only funny but a very strong and realistic individual. 

He is always there for Larson and they experience life together. 

They are very supportive, but are always able to be straightforward with each other which makes their friendship is beautiful. 

One of the best songs in the musical is “Come to Your Senses,” performed by Alexandra Shipp and Vanessa Hudgens. 

Shipp is best known for her role as Aaliyah Haughton in “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B,” and as young Storm in the newest X-Men films. 

Hughens is most famously known for playing Gabriela Montes, in the “High School Musical” trilogy and is known to transition into the life of musicals lately. 

Shipp and Hudgens both did a beautiful job performing this song and have amazing, powerful voices.

This song is a turning point in Larson’s story and the lyrics are written in such an honest way, full of emotion. 

This film is not only relatable for artists around the world, but for anyone who feels at loss with their life. 

It’s the story of Jonathan Larson, and many people can view it as an inspiration to not give up on their dreams, especially if they have the talent. “Tick, Tick… Boom!” is rated PG-13 and is streaming on Netflix.   

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