2016 marks twenty years since the untimely passing of Jonathon Larson, the creator of the global smash-hit RENT. Melbourne audiences will have a rare opportunity to experience a slice of musical theatre history and get to know the man who fatefully lived – and died – turning his dreams into a reality, when Pursued by Bear presents tick, tick…BOOM! at Chapel Off Chapel from 21 April 2016.
In 1990, while facing his milestone thirtieth birthday, Jonathon Larson wrote and starred in a one-man autobiographical musical, a ‘rock monologue’ he called Bohemia in which he adeptly and poignantly depicts a struggling creative artist who wonders how much longer he can sanely balance his passion and goals with the stumbling blocks of life – relationship, job, money, doubts, and fears.
Thankfully, Larson persevered. His next creation was the nineties rock musical RENT. Unfairly and now infamously, Larson died in 1996 at the age of thirty five, the night before RENT opened off-Broadway, beginning its wildly successful global run that showcased Larson’s award-winning brand of art-imitating-life-imitating-art talent.
In 2001, Larson’s one-man show was re-configured into a three-actor chamber musical by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright David Auburn and re-named tick, tick…BOOM! The production starred Raul Esparza and went on to win numerous accolades and awards. Directed by Paul Wayson, with musical direction by Jess Barlow, Pursued by Bear’s production will feature the enigmatic Luigi Lucente as Jon, who will be joined by Angela Scundi as Susan and Quin Kelly as Michael.
“Having been involved in six productions of RENT now and as a devoted RENT fan… I’ve longed to direct tick, tick…BOOM!,” says director Paul Watson. “I’ve been blessed to have had some of the most amazing experiences bringing RENT to the stage. I know there is a wonderful legion of devoted Larson fans, whether they are audience members, actors or musicians, here in Melbourne… and I certainly am one of them.”
Pursued by Bear is dedicated to producing rarely seen musical theatre works with a lot of heart. Strong believers in creating paid opportunities for individuals in the Arts, Pursued by Bear has focused on staging intimate productions. tick, tick… BOOM! follows critically-acclaimed productions of Next to Normal (2013) and John & Jen (2015) and an Australian Premiere production of High Fidelity (2014).
“It is the sound of one man’s mounting anxiety. I … am that man.” – Jonathon Larson
Director: Paul Watson Featuring: Rebecca Hetherington, Quin Kelly, Luigi Lucente, Mitch Roberts, Angela Scundi Musical Director: Jess Barlow Assistant Director: Brenton Cosier
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Season: 21 April – 1 May 2016
Bookings: (03) 8290 7000 or online at: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au
For more information, visit: www.pursuedbybear.com.au for details.
Image: Quin Kelly, Luigi Lucente and Angela Scudi Star in tick, tick… BOOM! – photo courtesy of Pursued by Bear