Movies Movies Tick Tick Boom

Tick, Tick… Boom!

I watched “Tick, Tick… Boom! 11/20/21. Transported back to 1990, I am reminded of all the suffering and death we experienced during the HIV pandemic. Once again cures were affected by politics. Same-sex partners could not marry or parent without stigma and confrontation and to add insult to injury AIDS-ravaged their already complicated lives. Unlike today with the Covid pandemic, cures for HIV did not exist back then and a diagnosis was basically a death sentence with death most likely within a few months to a year. Friends and family stood by helpless. Johnathan Larson echoes our pain and he shows us how the brevity of life makes life that much more precious and thus we must maximize joy and embrace life while we can.

While Johnathan faced the death of friends all around him, he strived to succeed before his 30th birthday. While faced with his own mortality and the pressures and limitations of time, he’s both motivated and distracted, conflicted on how to accomplish his goals before his personal clock ticks down and his life goes Boom!

He both succeeds and fails, for his play makes it to Broadway but opens without him as he passes 5 years later when he’s 35 years old from an aortic embolism the morning of its premiere. We’re left to celebrate without him and can only hope that he’s somewhere on the other side watching over us as we fight back tears and finally get him like he wished he was understood during his life. The struggle of his generation with AiDs, their generation’s Covid bring home the importance of using what technology we have to save us for the struggle, and death affects everyone around them and lasts for generations to come.

I remember the AIDS quilt that was displayed in Washington, DC which is just like the over 700,000 white flags that grace the plaza today. Parts of the quilt were taken on tour throughout America. I was living in State College at the time so I went to the display at Penn State where I looked up the names of my friends in the book which contained the AIDS list of the dead and cried when I saw the names of my fallen friends.

Somehow we never learn, and that tragedy and needless deaths continue to this day, fueled by senseless politics once again.

Hopefully, with films like this, that challenge us, open the heart and remind us of our humanity, that we can return to love and feel one another again. After the credits started, I had to get up and go talk to my husband for tears welled up behind my eyes and I just couldn’t seem to move them forward. I feel numb from all the pain I experience every day as our nation faceless senseless hate and endless deaths.

I’ll take this movie with me as I go to sleep for there’s a lot to digest and process. I hope our society starts to produce less junk and more profound and relevant stories such as this one. I believe we need to uplevel what media we’re digesting as we’re far too polarized to survive as a nation and a planet. I hope I’m wrong. But I’m grateful to the producers, actors, and everyone involved in Tick Tick Boom for the reminder that once we were kind and genuinely cared for one another.

Tick, Tick… Boom! (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tick, Tick… Boom!
Promotional release poster
Directed byLin-Manuel Miranda
Screenplay bySteven Levenson
Based onTick, Tick… Boom!
by Jonathan Larson
Produced byBrian GrazerRon HowardLin-Manuel MirandaJulie Oh
StarringAndrew GarfieldAlexandra ShippRobin de JesúsJoshua HenryVanessa Hudgens
CinematographyAlice Brooks
Edited byMyron KersteinAndrew Weisblum
Music byJonathan Larson
Imagine Entertainment5000 Broadway Productions
Distributed byNetflix
Release dateNovember 10, 2021 (AFI Fest)November 12, 2021 (United States)
Running time121 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$53,462[2]

Tick, Tick… Boom! (styled as tick, tick… BOOM!) is a 2021 American musical drama film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda in his feature directorial debut, from a screenplay by Steven Levenson, based on the semi-autobiographical musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson. The film stars Andrew GarfieldRobin de JesúsAlexandra ShippJoshua Henry, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Tick, Tick… Boom! had its world premiere at AFI Fest on November 10, 2021, and began limited theatrical release on November 12, 2021, before streaming on Netflix on November 19, 2021. The film received positive reviews from critics praising Miranda’s direction, Levenson’s screenplay, and the musical sequences, with Garfield’s performance garnering universal acclaim.




In 1992, a few years before the premiere of Rent, Jonathan Larson performs his rock monologue Tick, Tick… Boom! in front of an audience at New York Theatre Workshop, accompanied by friends Roger and Karessa Johnson. He begins telling about the week leading up to his 30th birthday and his desire to become a successful musical theater composer (“30/90”).

In 1990, Jonathan juggles work at the Moondance Diner with preparing for a workshop at Playwrights Horizons of his musical Superbia, which he has been working on for eight years. He has a party at home with friends, including his former roommate Michael, who left acting for advertising, his girlfriend Susan, a dancer-turned-teacher, and fellow waiters Freddy and Carolyn (“Boho Days”). While alone later, Susan tells Jonathan about a teaching job at Jacob’s Pillow and asks him to come too (“Green Green Dress”).

Jonathan visits Michael at his new Upper East Side apartment, celebrating his financial success and higher quality of life from their old apartment (“No More”). Ira Weitzman, the Musical Theatre Program Director at Playwrights Horizons, asks Jonathan to write a new song for Superbia, as the story needs it. This troubles him, as his idol, Stephen Sondheim, told him the same at the ASCAP Workshop some years ago, but he can’t come up with anything and he only has a week.

Jonathan tries to get his agent, Rosa Stevens, to invite Sondheim to the workshop, but eventually just cold-calls Sondheim and others. He watches PBS’s Sunday in the Park with George with Michael and Susan, and afterwards Michael asks him to join an advertising focus group to earn extra money. Susan also pressures him again to move with her, although he feels his career is just starting in New York (“Johnny Can’t Decide”). The next day he imagines the Diner full with Broadway stars (“Sunday”). Carolyn tells him Freddy, who is HIV-positive, has been hospitalized, adding to Jonathan’s anxieties as many of his friends have already died in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He walks down Broadway to Playwrights Horizons for the start of rehearsals for Superbia (“Play Game”).

Susan, frustrated by Jonathan’s indecisiveness, breaks up with him (“Therapy”). To get money to hire a full band for the workshop, Jonathan attends the advertising focus group. Making a good first impression, he considers a corporate future, but realizes he would hate it and deliberately sabotages it. Michael criticizes him for being in a financially unstable theater career, while Jonathan claims with his impending 30th birthday that he is getting too old to be successful. After finally getting an encouraging call from Rosa about his industry invites, he plans to write the new song the night before the workshop, but his power gets cut off before starting. Heading to a swimming pool to cool off, he pictures sheet music lines on the pool floor and finally comes up with the new song, which he writes out by hand (“Swimming”).

At the workshop are friends, family, and industry professionals, including Sondheim. Karessa brings down the house with the new song, “Come to Your Senses”, and Jonathan imagines Susan singing it. He receives praise but no offers to produce Superbia. Rosa tells him he must keep writing, hoping that something will succeed, but he will likely face more rejection. Discouraged, Jonathan runs to Michael begging for a corporate job and perceived stability, but Michael changes his mind after seeing the workshop, encouraging Jonathan to continue in musical theater. When Jonathan accuses him of not understanding what it’s like to be running out of time, Michael reveals he is HIV-positive (“Real Life”). Finally grasping his career obsession has cost him his relationship with Susan and jeopardized his friendship with Michael, Jonathan wanders through New York before finding himself at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Hopping a fence to a piano, he sings about his friendship with Michael and the sacrifices he must make for his career, asking if they are worth it (“Why”). He and Michael reconcile.

On the morning of Jonathan’s 30th birthday, Sondheim calls, congratulating him on the workshop and wanting to talk more about Superbia, lifting his spirits. Holding his birthday party at the Moondance Diner, attended by his friends, he is relieved to hear Freddy is to be discharged from the hospital. Susan gifts him blank sheet music paper to help in his career, promising to see “the next thing.” She narrates that the “next thing” was Tick, Tick… Boom!, before he returned to working on a previous project, which became Rent. She reveals he died of an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm the night before Rent’s premiere Off-Broadway. He never experienced the success he desired, but his work lives on. In 1992, Jonathan performs the final song from Tick, Tick… Boom!, watching his friends and family in the audience, including Susan in the back (“Louder Than Words”).



“Sunday” features cameos from Broadway actors André De ShieldsBebe NeuwirthBeth MaloneBrian Stokes MitchellChita RiveraChuck CooperHoward McGillinJoel GreyRenée Elise GoldsberryPhillipa SooPhylicia Rashad, and Bernadette Peters. It also prominently features Adam PascalDaphne Rubin-Vega, and Wilson Jermaine Heredia as homeless bums: all three were original cast members of the Broadway production of Rent, which was also written by Larson. Director Miranda also cameos as a cook at the Moondance Diner during the scene.[4]

The musical theater workshop scene includes cameos by various established theater composers and lyricists as “aspiring theater composers and lyricists”, including Alex LacamoireAmanda GreenChad BeguelinDave MalloyGeorgia StittGrace McLeanHelen ParkJason Robert BrownJeanine TesoriJoe IconisMarc ShaimanMatthew SklarNick BlaemireQuiara Alegría HudesShaina TaubStephen SchwartzStephen Trask, screenwriter Steven Levenson, and Tom Kitt.[4] Green, Beguelin, Malloy, Iconis, Sklar, and Taub are all previous recipients of the Jonathan Larson Grant for aspiring composers.[5] Although not named onscreen, the workshop depicted is the ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop, which Larson attended and through which he first met Stephen Sondheim. The character of Walter Bloom, played by Richard Kind, appears to be based on Charles Strouse.[6]

Christopher Jackson cameos as a patron at the New York Theatre Workshop performance of Tick, Tick… Boom!.[4] Miranda’s father Luis A. Miranda Jr. cameos as a building concierge in “No More.”[4] Among the performers in the Superbia presentation are Joel PerezKate Rockwell, and Janet Dacal. Although Whitford portrays Sondheim onscreen, Sondheim voices himself when he leaves a message on Jonathan’s voicemail, as he does in the original musical.[4] Miranda’s wife Vanessa M. Nadal voices “Deborah”, Susan’s friend who calls Jonathan towards the beginning of the film about equipment for his workshop.[7]

New York Theatre Workshop artistic director James C. Nicola and Broadway actor Roger Bart make credited appearances as “featured diners” at the Moondance Diner in the background of the opening scene. Both were friends and collaborators of the real Larson: Nicola was in charge of New York Theatre Workshop at the time of the film’s events and helped program Rent, while Bart was a fellow waiter at the diner who contributed backing vocals to the original rock-monologue version of Tick, Tick… Boom!. The character “Roger”, played by Joshua Henry, is loosely inspired by Bart.[4][8]


It was announced in July 2018 that Lin-Manuel Miranda would make his directorial debut with the musical adaptation, with Imagine Entertainment and Julie Oh producing and Dear Evan HansenSteven Levenson penning the script.[9]

In June 2019, Netflix had acquired the film, with Andrew Garfield the top choice to star.[10] He would be confirmed to star in October, with Alexandra ShippVanessa Hudgens and Robin de Jesús joining in November.[11][12] Joshua HenryJudith Light, and Bradley Whitford would join in January 2020.[13]

In January 2020, it was also announced that choreographer Ryan Heffington would be working on the film.[14]


Principal photography began in March 2020,[15][16] but production had shut down by April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[17] Production resumed in October 2020[18] and wrapped in November 2020.[19]

The film’s production designers painstakingly recreated both the Moondance Diner and Larson’s former apartment at 508 Greenwich Street, in the latter case sourcing some of Larson’s actual possessions to decorate the set. The pool scenes were shot at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center in the West Village. The location was chosen due to its resemblance to that described in the lyrics of “Swimming”: it was only during filming that the designers and creative team learned this was the actual swimming pool Larson frequented.[20]


Sondheim’s vocal cameo (a concept that carries over from productions of the original musical) came about when he asked to rewrite his voicemail message after viewing the film, as he felt he would not say what had originally been written. However, at this point in production Whitford was not available to re-record the line, so Sondheim offered to record it himself.[21]


On June 10, 2021, the first trailer for the film was released online, confirming that the film will be released on Netflix and in select theaters in late 2021.[22] It had its Los Angeles premiere at AFI Fest on November 10, 2021 as the festival’s opening night film, & its NY premiere at the Schoenfeld Theater.[23] It was released in a limited release on November 12, 2021, prior to its streaming release on Netflix on November 19, 2021.[24]


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 88% based on 128 reviews, with an average rating of 7.6/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Tick, tick… BOOM! makes musical magic out of a story focused on the creative process—an impressive feat for debuting director Lin-Manuel Miranda.”[25] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 75 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.[26]


  1. ^ “tick, tick…BOOM! – Netflix Official Site”NetflixArchived from the original on September 2, 2021. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  2. ^ “Tick Tick Boom”the numbersArchived from the original on November 1, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d “Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp and Mj Rodriguez star in first trailer for Tick, Tick… Boom!”GAY TIMES. June 14, 2021. Archived from the original on October 21, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d e f Goffe, Nadira. “An Exhaustive List of Every Broadway Cameo in Tick, Tick … Boom!”Slate. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  5. ^ The American Theatre Wing Jonathan Larson Grants
  6. ^ Pollock, Bruce (2014). A Friend in the Music Business: The ASCAP Story. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Books. ISBN 9781423492214 1423492218 Check |isbn= value: length (help).
  7. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel (director) (November 12, 2021). Tick, Tick… Boom! (Motion picture). Netflix.
  8. ^ Murray, Rebecca. “‘tick, tick…BOOM!’ Q&A with Andrew Garfield and Lin-Manuel Miranda”Showbizjunkies. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 19, 2018). “Imagine Sets Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Helming Debut: ‘Rent’ Creator Jonathan Larson’s ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’; ‘Evan Hansen’s Steven Levenson Scripting”DeadlineArchived from the original on July 19, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 19, 2019). “Netflix Lands Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ (EXCLUSIVE)”VarietyArchived from the original on April 3, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 30, 2019). “Andrew Garfield To Star In Lin-Manuel Miranda Netflix Adaptation of ‘Rent’ Playwright Jonathan Larson’s ‘tick, tick…BOOM!'”DeadlineArchived from the original on October 30, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  12. ^ N’Duka, Amanda (November 5, 2019). “Alexandra Shipp Joins Andrew Garfield In ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’; Vanessa Hudgens & Robin de Jesus Also Cast In Netflix Adaptation”DeadlineArchived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Donnelly, Matt (January 28, 2020). “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ Adds Joshua Henry, Judith Light, Bradley Whitford (EXCLUSIVE)”VarietyArchived from the original on August 22, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  14. ^ Evans, Greg (January 27, 2020). “‘Chandelier’ Choreographer Ryan Heffington Joins Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’ For Netflix”DeadlineArchived from the original on April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  15. ^ “Tick, Tick… Boom! – Production Listing | Backstage”www.backstage.comArchived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  16. ^ “Single and Sizzling! Vanessa Hudgens Crushes Oscars Afterparty Carpet”Us Weekly. February 10, 2020. Archived from the original on October 23, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  17. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel [@Lin_Manuel] (April 15, 2020). “Can’t wait to keep making #TickTickBoomMovie. Must wait. Our last night of filming before the shutdown, recreating 508 Greenwich, Jon’s address, circa 1990” (Tweet). Archived from the original on February 7, 2021. Retrieved June 13, 2021 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ “Andrew Garfield Filming New Movie in New York Debunks Spider-Man 3 Rumors”epicstream.comArchived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  19. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel [@Lin_Manuel] (November 28, 2020). “That’s a PICTURE WRAP on #TickTickBoomMovie. So profoundly grateful we were able to finish telling the story and keep everyone safe. Grateful to @netflix for sticking with us. To quote Roger in Rent: “It isn’t much, but it took all year.” Thank you, Jonathan Larson.” (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 31, 2021. Retrieved June 13, 2021 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ Young, Michelle. “THE FILMING LOCATIONS FOR TICK, TICK …BOOM!”Untapped CitiesArchived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  21. ^ Lenker, Maureen Lee. “The Stephen Sondheim cameo you didn’t realize was in Tick, Tick…Boom”Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  22. ^ “‘tick, tick…Boom’ First Trailer: Lin-Manuel Miranda Directs Andrew Garfield in Netflix Musical”. June 10, 2021. Archived from the original on June 10, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  23. ^ Hammond, Pete (August 11, 2021). “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Feature Directorial Debut ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’ Set As Opening Night Film For AFI Fest November 10”Deadline HollywoodArchived from the original on August 11, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  24. ^ Jackson, Angelique (August 11, 2021). “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’ to Open AFI Fest”VarietyArchived from the original on August 11, 2021. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  25. ^ Tick, Tick… Boom!Rotten TomatoesFandango Media. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  26. ^ Tick, Tick… Boom! Reviews“. MetacriticRed Ventures. Retrieved November 19, 2021.

External links[edit]

hidevteLin-Manuel Miranda
MusicalsIn the Heights (music and lyrics)Bring It On: The Musical (music and lyrics)21 Chump Street (book, music and lyrics)Hamilton (book, music and lyrics)
Film workAs a songwriterMoana (music and lyrics)Hamilton (music and lyrics)In the Heights (music and lyrics)Vivo (music and lyrics)Encanto (music and lyrics)The Little Mermaid (lyrics)As a directorTick, Tick… Boom!
TelevisionSesame Street (songs; 2 episodes)The Electric Company (songs; 17 episodes)Hamilton’s AmericaThe Magic School Bus Rides Again (theme song)Fosse/Verdon (executive producer)
SinglesLove Make the World Go Round“”Almost Like Praying“”Found/Tonight“”A Forgotten Spot
Related21 Chump Street: The Musical – EPHamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)Moana (soundtrack)The Hamilton Mixtape
hidevteBrian Grazer
Films producedNight Shift (1982)Splash (1984, also wrote)Real Genius (1985)Spies Like Us (1985)Armed and Dangerous (1986, also wrote)Like Father Like Son (1987)Parenthood (1989)Kindergarten Cop (1990)Closet Land (1991)My Girl (1991)Far and Away (1992)Housesitter (1992, also wrote)Boomerang (1992)For Love or Money (1993)My Girl 2 (1994)Greedy (1994)The Paper (1994)The Cowboy Way (1994)Apollo 13 (1995)Sgt. Bilko (1996)Fear (1996)The Nutty Professor (1996)The Chamber (1996)Ransom (1996)Liar Liar (1997)Inventing the Abbotts (1997)Mercury Rising (1998)Psycho (1998)EDtv (1999)Life (1999)Bowfinger (1999)Beyond the Mat (1999)Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)A Beautiful Mind (2001)Undercover Brother (2002)Blue Crush (2002)8 Mile (2002)Intolerable Cruelty (2003)The Cat in the Hat (2003)The Missing (2003)Friday Night Lights (2004)Inside Deep Throat (2005)Cinderella Man (2005)Flightplan (2005)Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)Inside Man (2006)The Da Vinci Code (2006)American Gangster (2007)Changeling (2008)Frost/Nixon (2008)Angels & Demons (2009)Robin Hood (2010)The Dilemma (2011)Restless (2011)Cowboys & Aliens (2011)J. Edgar (2011)Tower Heist (2011)Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)Rush (2013)Get on Up (2014)The Good Lie (2014)In the Heart of the Sea (2015)Lowriders (2016)Inferno (2016)American Made (2017)The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)Pavarotti (2019)Dads (2019)Rebuilding Paradise (2020)Hillbilly Elegy (2020)Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021)
TV series createdShadow Chasers (1985)
RelatedImagine Entertainment


You may also like...