Friday, November 19, 2021

Tick Tick Boom Just Blew Up My Street Cred

(Just to be clear, I have never had any "street cred.") Anyway I don't want to say that I was exactly "wrong" here since there are plenty of examples of Movie Musicals that I totally dig -- The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Moulin Rouge and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, as examples -- but I will say I was absolutely not going into my screening of Lin-Manuel Miranda's new movie Tick, Tick... Boom! with an open mind. The trailer (see here) made my skin crawl, actually crawl right off of my body, I have no skin anymore because of that trailer. It was the epitome of the things about Musical Theater that drive me away from Musical Theater -- all that big-time sincere theater kid energy... I just can't. OR CAN I??? 

That's right -- WTF I loved it. WTF??? It wasn't even ten minutes in and I could feel my defenses falling me, and by the time the big Moondance Diner scene happens I was rendered utterly defenseless from its charms. I think there are several reasons for this and I get into a lot of it with my review at Pajiba that went up today right here -- if you ignore the music the movie is a story about a Gen X Writer In NYC and very good being about all three of those things! -- but one thing I don't mention there is that Tick Tick Boom actually did make me miss Musical Theater. It made me want to go see something on Broadway. Something big and cheesy and gaudy and listen, the pandemic has done a lot to our brains. This will probably pass. But this movie tapped into a moment, a feeling, and props to it for that. It's like, even if you don't love cake (there are people!) you can tell when somebody has made a beautiful cake, and these folks have made a beautiful cake. I appreciate the cake!


Steve said...

Jason, I just got back from a long weekend in NYC. If you want to see a decent musical, I would really like to recommend Girl from the North Country. Living in Minnesota, obviously, I'm a Dylan fan, but Mare Winningham knocked it out of the park with her performance as the crazed mother! If you want big and cheesy, definitely Diana, the Musical, but if you want short and fun, I'd really recommend Six. I saw it in St. Paul before it went to NYC, only to shut down on opening night. It's excellent and it's only 80 minutes long.

If you want big and glorious, do not miss Porgy and Bess at the Met! It's truly outstanding! Great voices, superb production and the Family Circle is a good place to see the spectacle the Met does so well. I'll be curious to hear what you see.

Anonymous said...

Never going to see a film about the man who committed one of the worst atrocities in the history of the theater: "Rent." If Larson hadn't died on its opening night, that already-dated show would have rightfully disappeared.

Pierce said...

I have to agree about Rent. I saw it on Broadway and totally hated it. It was loud and obnoxious. A friend I saw the show with laughed because they "gave a Pulitzer Prize to an aneurysm" and another said "All those peoples problems would be solved if they just got a job." Franco Zeffirelli's production of La Boheme is a staple at the Met because it's so brilliantly realized. Rent is just tacky!

NealB said...

Didn't expect shit-posts about Rent on this, but there they are. And let me say, that yes, Rent is, and always will be a mess of a show. It's more like a story-board with lots of little scene cards stuck up all over the place, and a few of them still need to be removed completely, while the rest are rearranged. Still, tens of thousands of fans of the show aren't wrong for loving it; the potential of it. Whether it was Larson's death that made it the Tony-award winner the year it opened on Broadway, or not, it's got a half-dozen of the best songs and musical scenes ever made for the stage. I finally saw it several years after its open, coincidentally with both Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal returned for a few months, and it was a blast.

Just wanted to compliment Jason for the great review of Tick Tick Boom. Can't wait to see it.

Jason Adams said...

I haven't seen Rent in over 20 years but I'll always have a soft spot for it because it was the first big Broadway show I ever saw -- I saw it in Toronto in 1997 I guess? Thereabouts. (Do you still call them Broadway shows if they're touring? Clearly I'm not the person who pays attention to this kind of thing.) Anyway I loved it because it was my first, and I listened to the soundtrack at the time a lot. I don't know how I'd feel about that show if I tried to watch it now, when I'm far more cynical towards Broadway musicals. But let people love what they love or hate what they hate -- we're all allowed that much in this world :)

Carl said...

One of us! One of us!

NealB said...

Will I lose my dignity?
Will someone care?
Will I wake tomorrow
From this nightmare?