Solving an Early Mid-Life Crisis With Sugar and Guitar in "tick, tick...Boom!" | Theater | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Solving an Early Mid-Life Crisis With Sugar and Guitar in "tick, tick...Boom!" 

Tick, tick...Boom! embraces growing older with an autobiography of Rent creator Jonathan Larson.

Innovation Theatre Works' new production, tick, tick... Boom! is the rock and pop autobiography of Jonathan Larson, best known as the creator of Broadway sensation Rent. Fans of musical theater will enjoy the pitch-perfect singing of main character Jon, played with enthusiasm by Matt Lutz, who commands the stage with the frenetic energy of a wind-up toy smack in the middle of an early midlife crisis.

His girlfriend Susan, played by porcelain songbird Olivia Cherryholmes, presses Jon to give up his dreams and settle into East Hampton domestic bliss as the age of 30 ticks ever so near. John navigates his existential pangs and soothes his Peter Pan complex by condensing his life into rollicking rock show tunes that canonize everything from his jealousy over not driving a BMW to his borderline shameful love of the Twinkie.

This show is meant for audiences to embrace its musicality and kinetic energy rather than expect a complex narrative about growing older without success, which came to Larson after writing this play. His frustration about floundering in the arts is not palpable because the musical numbers are, well, fun. I found the inside jokes challenging, like the reverence for Stephen Sondheim, but enjoyed the suspended belief that an audience outside of New York would understand the layout of Central Park enough to imagine Jon, in a moment of despair, spinning closer and closer to its fabled carousel.

Scene stealer Kyle Nudo, who plays Larson's best friend, Michael, has the opportunity to add depth as the plot advances, but it is no fault of the actors that the material centers around the mundane details of life made musical than a treatise about suffering for the sake of creating art.

And maybe profundity is not what musical theatre is really about. I haven't heard singing this powerful on a Bend stage since Rick Johnson wowed audiences as the Emcee in Cat Call Production's Cabaret. The addition of a live band propelled the numbers forward, with the drumming of Jared Forqueran providing a personal highlight.

tick, tick...Boom! elevates what fans of musical theatre have come to expect in Central Oregon, and if that is the overriding point of this production, I consider it a success.

tick, tick... Boom!

8pm Wednesday-Saturday, June 22 - June 25. 2pm Sunday, June 26. Bend Performing Arts Center, 1155 SW Division St. $15-$20. Tickets at

About The Author

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Ideas on Tap with the University of Oregon - Beyond the Spotted Owl

Ideas on Tap with the University of Oregon - Beyond the Spotted Owl - Worthy Garden Club

Thu., Oct. 21, 6-8 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Theater

  • A P.C. Christmas

    • Dec 6, 2017
    A twisted take on some holiday classics brings punny fun More »
  • Inside A Christmas Carol

    • Nov 30, 2017
    You've probably seen this play—or film—at least once during the holidays. The director of this version tells us why this one is not "the same old story." More »
  • Use Your Words

    • Nov 23, 2017
    After sitting around the Thanksgiving table not listening to your relatives' stories, 2nd Street Theater offers a more sophisticated—and perhaps less opinionated—form of storytelling More »
  • More »

More by Suzanne Burns

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation