Casting is ongoing for the national tour of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! now that pop star Joey McIntyre's schedule is complicated by his roles as a regular on TV's "Boston Public," producer Beth Smith told Playbill On Line.
It was hoped McIntyre might again play the struggling songwriter in the tour of the quirky rock-flavored musical that was seen Off-Broadway in 2001. He had expressed interest in the tour. In fall 2001, McIntyre took over the role of "Jonathan" in the musical following Raul Esparza's turn at the Jane Street Theatre.
The book, music and lyrics are by the late Larson, who penned the international musical sensation, Rent, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award. David Auburn (Proof) adapted Larson's script.
Some 20 weeks are lined up for the national tour, Smith said. Scott Schwartz directed the Off-Broadway run, and will repeat his duties on tour.
A cast album of the three-actor musical is in stores. Amy Spanger and Jerry Dixon played supporting roles in the show Off-Broadway, and Molly Ringwald and Natascia Diaz would later take on the Spanger role of the women in Jonathan's life. *
Larson's libretto, adapted by playwright David Auburn (Proof), focuses on a theatrical songwriter named Jonathan and his wish for success — both financial and artistic — in 1990, as he turned 30. Early in its development, when Larson was performing it as a solo piece, the show was called 30/90.
tick, tick is considered a funky, urban sister show to Rent and has the advantage of the fact that Rent has criss-crossed the nation in recent years.
The musical ended its Off-Broadway run Jan. 6, 2002, at the Jane Street Theatre, following 24 previews and 215 performances. Producers Victoria Leacock, Robyn Goodman, Dede Harris, Lorie Cowen Levy and Beth Smith brought the intimate and unique show to the Jane Street.
The musical has found success in foreign markets, including a landmark triple production in South Korea where three Korean pop stars are playing the lead role (in the Korean language) in three different productions (to say nothing of a special English language staging there featuring Off-Broadway star Joey McIntyre and his OB colleagues, Natascia Diaz and Jerry Dixon). Larson created the show drawing on elements of his young life and emerging career. In its final months Off Broadway, tick, tick starred McIntyre (New Kids On the Block) as "Jonathan," a struggling composer-lyricist who, as age 30 dawns, wants to change the course of musical theatre. Diaz was girlfriend Susan (and other characters) and Dixon played best pal Michael (and others).
Diaz joined as one in the trio of friends in tick, tick...BOOM! Oct. 30, 2001, stepping in the shoes of Amy Spanger and Molly Ringwald, who came before.
tick, tick...BOOM! first emerged in solo presentations in 1990. It finally got its commercial world premiere June 13, 2001 at the Jane Street Theatre, five years after the unexpected death of 35-year-old Larson, who did indeed make his mark on musical theatre with Rent.
Previews began May 23, 2001, in Manhattan. The musical, whose sound will remind a listener of Rent, is a quirky take on Larson's life rather than strict autobiography. Stephen Oremus musical directed.
There were several versions of the show over the years, producer Robyn Goodman said, and the number of songs in each version varied. Musical numbers over the years included "Theatre Is Dead," "Louder Than Words," "Why" and "Sunday," among others. The current Playbill lists 13 songs: "30/90," "Green Green Dress," "Johnny Can't Decide," "Sunday," "No More," "Therapy," "Play Game," "Real Life," "Sugar," "See Her Smile," "Come to Your Senses," "Why" and "Louder Than Words."
Amy Asch, an archivist for the Larson papers and PBOL employee, told PBOL Larson had the style of monologists Eric Bogosian and Spalding Gray in mind when he was creating the unique musical.
— By Kenneth Jones