Storeyboard Entertainment’s intimate, beautiful production of tick, tick…boom by the creator of RENT, Jonathan Larson, was treated to a warm standing ovation by the excited Brisbane audience at QPAC’s Playhouse theatre.
The one act mesmerising musical revolved around Jon, a struggling musical theatre composer in New York City nearing the next decade of his life, his 30s and feeling a ticking time bomb of what he believes he should have achieved by that point in his life. Set in the 1990s the show dealt with issues of identity, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, financial stress and artistic struggle.
Prominent Australian actor Hugh Sheridan played the anxious, quirky, and comedic Jon. Sheridan found a light and sarcasm to the character that shone through as the struggling artist who can’t catch a break. Hugh showcased an undeniable talent holding the audience’s attention so effortlessly through the way the passion seeps through the performance. This is particularly prevalent during the workshop scene monologue breaking the fourth wall and narrating the angst and excitement felt before Jon’s new musical songs are presented.
The heart wrenching solo number ‘Why’ was remarkable and saddening simultaneously. The song dove into the deep introspection emotional heartache following hearing the news Jon’s best friend was diagnosed with Aids. Hugh’s body language laying over the piano told the tale of the emotive soulful scene in an exhilarating manner. Sheridan was the perfect actor to represent the character of Jon based on the real late Jonathan Larson’s life and the internal and external turmoil that he experienced in his short life.
Elenoa Rokobaro embodied the confident Susan, Jon’s girlfriend, Karessa, the workshop star performer among others. Elenoa was intoxicating as the loving Susan, the dancer that just wanted to live a simple life out of the city and sick of Jon not prioritising her in their relationship. The number ‘Green Green Dress’ was gorgeous to witness as Elenoa illustrated her stunning dance talent and the quietness of the song was enticing to the Queensland viewers.
The fast-paced song ‘Therapy’ was hilarious and entertaining as Susan and Jon talked over each other as they were trying to get their point across to each other. The lyrical genius, Jonathan Larson created this number to be so captivating. The highlight of the night was Elenoa as Karessa when she belted out the gorgeous 11’oclock number ‘Come to your senses’ as part of Jon’s workshop. It blew the audience away as she showcased her stunning vocals mirroring Susan’s words earlier in the piece. She told Jon to grow up essentially and ‘come to your senses’ about the reality of being in the artistic profession he was in.
Finn Alexander marvellously stepped into Michael’s shoes and gave a strikingly heartbreaking performance. Finn portrayed the fun-lovingly gay best friend Jon met at summer camp when they were kids, the number ‘No more’ was so energetic and comedic as they enjoyed Michael’s new rich digs. Finn was so human and honest during the song ‘Real Life’ as you learn Michael has been diagnosed with Aids, the connection he possessed with Hugh was unbreakable.
Sheridan Adams and Hamish Johnston were incredible in their ensemble roles throughout the show. They played various, friends, colleagues and even Hamish hilariously embodied Jon’s redneck father with gusto. They glued the whole piece together so seamlessly and concluded the show with the other cast members performing the anthem ‘Louder than words’ so joyously it brought the audience to their feet.
Tick, tick…boom by Storeyboard Entertainment is not to be missed and illustrates the birth of the modern rock musical that thrived thereafter from Jonathan Larson’s legacy. The incredible performances are second-to-none, run to see this unforgettable stage show.
TICKETS 🎟 Sydney 20 – 26 April 2023 • Sydney Lyric Theatre
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