While millions have been moved, entertained and inspired by the smash Broadway hit Rent over the years, far fewer know the story of Jonathan Larson, Rent’s composer, which is every bit as compelling as the Tony Award-winning musical.
Fortunately for us, Larson left us with Tick, Tick…Boom!, a play about his life before Rent, leading up to his 30th birthday, in which he contemplates his future as a composer. Larson died the night Rent opened off Broadway, so “he never got to see that come to fruition,” said Frannie Buchtel, Founder of 2 Left Feet Productions, which will be holding auditions for Tick, Tick…Boom on Friday and Saturday. (See below for more information on auditions.)
Originally written as a one-person play and then tucked away, the music for Tick, Tick…Boom! was posthumously recovered by Larson’s father and taken to other composers and reworked into a three-person (two men, one woman) play, Buchtel said.
Tick, Tick…Boom will mark Buchtel’s return to theatrical production after taking some time off to recover from back surgery. She started 2 Left Feet in 2008.
“Truthfully, I was doing theater all over the city and really loved the production side of it, loved producing shows,” Buchtel said. “I was directing a lot, and I decided that if I could take the power into my own hands, I could do some of the shows, the smaller shows, especially, that people really wanted to do around town that people weren’t doing.
“So I just decided I loved all the aspects of theater, so I might as well try them all out myself,” Buchtel added. “It’s been a really fun adventure and I’ve been really fortunate that the cast of all of my shows have just been fantastic.”
The play will run March 9-18 at Café Istanbul at the Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave.
“It’s a newer space,” Buchtel said, and it’s a “small space but it’s great for the show.”
Auditions for Tick, Tick…Boom! will be Friday and Saturday at Café Istanbul. Please e-mail noladance.com to set up a time. Those auditioning should bring a photo, a resume and 32 measures of a musical theater song to sing (you may select something from Tick, Tick…Boom).
Writer and filmmaker Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.