Tick, Tick…BOOM! has taken the stage for Circle’s 2024 Season opener. What is an autobiographical musical and why is it important?

Tick, Tick… BOOM! is an interesting show as it is an autobiographical musical. An autobiographical musical’s “chart the life and career of a specific performer, interweaving the artist’s songs into a specially-created narrative for the musical. Autobiographical musicals are ones that you don’t see as often. When you do see them being performed it is very cool because it is about someone’s life using songs that they wrote. Some musicals that are autobiographical that you may know are Tina – The Tina Turner Musical and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Just like Tina Turner and Carole King, this show is all about Jon Larson. Many know him from the hit musical, Rent. Jon Larson sadly passed away at his own home on January 25, 1996, the day before the very first Off-Broadway preview performance of Rent. If you don’t know the musical, you should go and listen because it is incredible, just like Tick, Tick… BOOM!Back to Tick, Tick… BOOM! – this show was written by Jonathan Larson in the early 1990s in New York City. The musical started as a “rock monologue” after his death, it was rebuilt and later in 2001 was performed as a three person musical for the first time.

The moving and intensely personal musical, speaks to everyone who has ever pursued a dream while juggling the demands of time, life, and the fear of failure. This show is special as it shows the creative process of its creator, Jonathan Larson. The story revolves around Jon, a talented but frustrated composer who is on the verge of turning 30 and feels the weight of unfulfilled dreams bearing down on him. During this time, it was facing enormous cultural and social change, marked by the AIDS crisis and the rise of the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Tick, Tick… BOOM! is more than just a musical, it stands as proof of the resilience of determination., the beauty of creative expression, and the legacy of a visionary talent taken from the world far too soon.