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tick, tick ... BOOM!

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ALMOST 30 Andrew Garfield stars as Rent creator Jonathan Larson, in tick, tick ... BOOM!, Larson's autobiographical musical about his struggle to produce a Broadway show on the cusp of his 30th birthday, screening on Netflix. - PHOTO COURTESY OF 5000 BROADWAY PRODUCTIONS
  • Photo Courtesy Of 5000 Broadway Productions
  • ALMOST 30 Andrew Garfield stars as Rent creator Jonathan Larson, in tick, tick ... BOOM!, Larson's autobiographical musical about his struggle to produce a Broadway show on the cusp of his 30th birthday, screening on Netflix.

What's it rated? PG-13

When? 2021

Where's it showing? Netflix

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Rentheads rejoice! Jonathan Larson's catalog is given a fresh breath in Lin Manuel Miranda's production of tick, tick ... BOOM!, which Larson wrote chronicling his 30th birthday and the events surrounding his showcase for Superbia, an ill-fated production whose failure Larson was sure would ruin his life. Detailing the difficulties of being a broke artist in New York, the palpable heartbreak of the AIDS crisis, and the utterly soul-crushing reality of writer's block on a deadline, tick, tick ... Boom! manages to blend the light with the dark.

Laughing, crying, singing—you'll do it all while watching this film. Miranda lends his expert touch of blending film and live theater. We're watching a beautiful movie that feels like an onstage production. The music here is Larson's signature stuff, a rock-band-meets-Broadway lyrical trip that breathes life into these characters. Larson's life was cut short at 35 when he died of an aortic dissection, so while having a life crisis over turning 30 seems a little silly, when you think that he unknowingly was in the last act of his life, it lends a lot of gravity to this particular crossroad.

No, Superbia wasn't his big break, and Larsen sadly passed before seeing his hit Rent on Broadway, but I can belt out every tune and name every character. His legacy lives on, and tick, tick ... BOOM! is a wonderful way to get to know the man behind the music. (115 min.) Δ

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