Is Andrew Garfield's 'Tick, Tick... Boom!' based on a true story?

A still from Netflix's Tick, Tick... Boom! starring Andrew Garfield (Image via IMDb)
A still from Netflix's Tick, Tick... Boom! starring Andrew Garfield (Image via IMDb)

Netflix's upcoming musical/drama, Tick, Tick... Boom! is all about paying homage to Jonathan Larson's autobiographical musical of the same name.

The film is Lin-Manuel Miranda's directorial debut and follows the legendary composer's life as he contemplates his career choice before his 30th birthday.

Playing the role of Jonathan Larson is actor Andrew Garfield. Joining him are stars like Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Joshua Henry, Judith Light, Vanessa Hudgens, Bradley Whitford, and Joanna P. Adler.


Tick, Tick... Boom!: A peek into Jonathan Larson's Life

Jonathan Larson, well known for his Broadway musicals like Rent and Tick, Tick... Boom!, wasn't always into musicals. At the cusp of his 30th birthday, Larson became worried about his career while waiting tables in NYC.

This led to the creation of his first solo act, Tick, Tick... Boom!, in 1990. He was heavily influenced by rock bands such as The Beatles and The Who.

Although he was pursuing a career in the performing arts, he did not have enough funds to support his dreams. He wrote musicals like Tick, Tick... Boom! and J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation while also contributing music to Sesame Street, Land Before Time, and An American Tail.

Jonathan Larson (Image via Library of Congress)
Jonathan Larson (Image via Library of Congress)

Jonathan Larson's best work, Rent, took almost seven years of hard work, but sadly he didn't live long enough for it to succeed on Broadway. During the final week of rehearsals for the Off-Broadway production of Rent, he started experiencing chest pains, which later led to his death due to an aortic dissection.

This unfortunate event occurred on the very day of Rent's preview performance. After his death, playwright David Auburn revised Tick, Tick... Boom! into a three-actor piece.

Over the years, the musical has taken on a life of its own, with actors such as Raúl Esparza, Neil Patrick Harris, and even Lin-Manuel Miranda himself in the role of Jon. Miranda's love for theater led him to adapt the great musical into a film set to be released on Netflix.


When will 'Tick, Tick... Boom!' release?

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The teaser for Tick, Tick... Boom! was released in June, followed by the release of its official trailer earlier this month. The upcoming musical centers on Larson as he starts to hear a ticking sound just before his 30th birthday.

Viewers will get a glimpse of his life, especially his tenuous relationships with his girlfriend, Susan, and childhood friend Michael. The piece ends on his 30th birthday when he is left with a thousand pages of manuscript paper and receives a call from Stephen Sondheim, his real-life mentor.

Tick, Tick... Boom! will begin streaming on Netflix on November 19.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer