"The tick tick booms are softer now. I can barely hear them. And I think if I play loud enough, I can drown them out completely."
By Rachel James (Treasurer/Writer)
I had the pleasure of seeing tick, tick... BOOM! at Encores! Off-Center this week. Unlike many people my age, I was not very familiar with the material. I knew a few of the songs and had a general idea about the story, but I never owned the cast album and I never saw it Off-Broadway. A friend of mine had a spare ticket, so I grabbed it. Any chance for theatre is a chance for magic.
While getting settled, I glanced around spotting a few familiar faces. The longer you work and live in the New York community, the fewer places you can go without seeing someone you know. I then looked across the aisle and spotted him. Holy crap, he was actually here.
If you know tick, tick... BOOM!, you realize we’ll be returning to this plot point.
Lin-Manuel Miranda came downstage, the house lights still fully up, and the crowd burst into applause. Not a note had been played. Not a word spoken. But you could tell the audience was there to play.
The next ninety minutes flew by. I heard the songs I knew, but saw their actual context. I watched these artists that I so admire perform these roles that were not only incredible, but actually spoke so much about them as human beings. Leslie Odom, Jr., an actor who has had a phenomenal few years working between theatre and television, plays a character who finds the comfort of a corporate life more satisfying than the life of a starving artist (not exactly the same, but similarities exist). Karen Olivo, who has had a very public exit from New York theatre, plays a character who is sick of city life and ready to continue her art somewhere else (this was almost too creepy of a correlation). And Lin-Manuel Miranda (a man I will forever admire for creating In The Heights, the only show I’ve seen only a Broadway stage that actually showed the New York in which I grew up and continue to live) plays Jon, an artist on the brink of 30 questioning his life choices and where he goes from here.