There’s something about the Hamilton mania that confuses me. How can there can be so many rabid local fans when the show hasn’t even left Broadway yet (and tickets are sold out for the next two years)? Where did these Filipinos watch the show? Was there a Broadway recording circulating in the deep web? Or is their love for the musical entirely based on what they hear on Spotify? “It’s so badass,” my friend told me. “How can you not love it? It’s rap music in a theater musical. That’s dope.” I’m not the biggest fan of rap music but I do understand the complexity of trying to write a musical as influential and groundbreaking as the “classics.” Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius for writing Hamilton. This made me wonder about the journey of other Broadway composers.
On Oct. 1, local audiences will take a look at one such journey in Tick, Tick… BOOM! Staged by 9 Works Theatrical, it tells the story of good ol’ Jon, an aspiring composer for musical theater and his career decisions. The show takes us behind the scenes: how composers get their inspiration, the writing process, the struggles and, of course, the decision to continue or jump ship to the upside down (read as: a more practical and stable job).
It’s the age-old question: passion or money? In the end, it’s really the journey that will give you the answers. No matter how much time you spend shaking a Magic 8 Ball or reading your horoscopes — both new and old — on Astrology Zone, you will never know the answer unless you try. And in Tick, Tick… BOOM, Jon does. Because whether or not the character made the right decision, playwright Jonathan Larson’s follow-up musical, Rent, was a huge hit. That’s right: in a plot twist, “Jon” is actually Jon Larson. So he wrote an award-winning show about himself. And he even managed to snag Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to play Jon in the 2014 Encores! Off-Centre revival. If that’s not success, then we don’t know what is.
9 Works Theatrical’s Tick, Tick… BOOM! opens Oct. 1 starring Jef Flores, Ariel Reonal and Tanya Manalang and directed by Robbie Guevara. For tickets, call 09175-545-560, 586-7105 or Ticketworld at 891-9999. Follow 9 Works Theatrical on Twitter and Instagram @9wtonline for more details.