Dean Armstrong is Jon in Canadian Premiere of Larson's tick, tick…BOOM! in Toronto

News   Dean Armstrong is Jon in Canadian Premiere of Larson's tick, tick…BOOM! in Toronto tick, tick…BOOM!, Jonathan Larson's pre-Rent musical about a songwriter searching for meaning in his 30th year, makes its Canadian premiere Feb. 10-26 in Toronto.

Dean Armstrong of Broadway's Rent plays Jon in the autobiographical show set in 1990. The staging is produced by Acting Up Stage Theatre Company (its premiere production) in association with Showcase.

The three-actor rock musical is a cousin to Rent, the bohemian-filled rock musical that won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award. Lyricist-librettist-composer Larson did not live to see the show in its glory: He died of an undiagnosed heart ailment on the eve of the Off-Broadway debut of his masterpiece. It then moved to Broadway, played tours, opened in London and will be filmed for a feature in 2005.

"It is 1990, and Rent is still six years away from its Broadway debut," according to Acting Up's production notes about the more intimate tick, tick… "Jonathan, an aspiring musical theatre writer despondently waiting tables in order to pay the rent, is facing his impending 30th birthday with great distress. Jon's girlfriend, Susan, wants to get married and leave the city for a quiet domestic life by the sea. Jon's best friend, Michael, has given up acting for a high paying corporate job, bought a BMW, and is moving to the parquet wood floors of Uptown Manhattan. With fourteen songs, 10 characters, three actors, and a band, tick, tick...BOOM! is a powerful and intimate look at facing a crossroads and holding onto dreams."

tick, tick…BOOM! stars Dean Armstrong (Broadway cast of Rent, Blake on Showtime's "Queer As Folk") as Jonathan, Michael Dufays (Second City Touring Company) as Michael and Daphne Moens (Cabaret at New Yorker Theatre) as Susan.

Mario D'Alimonte directs. Wayne Gwillim musical directs. The creative team also includes set designer Frances Key, costume designer Alex Amini and lighting designer Keith Hebert. Artistic producer Mitchell Marcus brings the show to Canada.

Acting Up Stage Theatre Company "is dedicated to producing intimate musical theatre productions in Toronto, cultivating a new generation of audiences through thought-provoking, contemporary works." tick, tick…BOOM! is the company's premiere production.

Toronto performances play Thursdays-Sundays Feb. 10-26 at the Poor Alex Theatre, 296 Brunswick Ave.

For more information, please call (905) 881-6546 or visit www.tick-tick-boom.com.

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tick, tick…BOOM!, written around 1990 but produced after its author's death, had David Auburn (Proof) as script consultant for its Off-Broadway run in 2001 at the Jane Street Theatre. The score is preserved on a cast album. The music supervisor/arranger/orchestrator was Stephen Oremus (Wicked, All Shook Up).