Whether we admit it or not, many of us have gone through that point where we are confused and undecided about what we really want to do with our lives and felt like there’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. For those in their  twenties, quarter-life crisis brings about that gut-wrenching feeling of time pressure, anxiety, and fear of the unknown. This transition with the pressure of making an “adult” decision brings in a lot of emotional stress and turmoil. That’s exactly what American composer and playwright Jonathan Larson successfully mirrored in his autobiographical musical tick, tick…BOOM! (writtend before his phenomenal hit RENT).

In memory of Larson and in celebration of RENT’s 20th anniversary, 9 Works Theatrical brings tick, tick…BOOM! to Manila. In the story, lead character Jon is in limbo as his 30th birthday looms. He is struggling whether he should pursue his passion as an artist or venture into what society perceives to be a more stable choice – a corporate career. Supporting Jon in the story are his girlfriend Susan and bestfriend Michael. In the local production, the powerhouse cast of Jef Flores, Tanya Manalang, and Ariel Reonal brings life to the three main characters.

After the press preview last Septemeber 30, I left the theater making a mental note of people I know who would surely appreciate tick, tick..BOOM! for its core message and overall feel. I must say that aside from a having a classic piece with thought-provoking lines and lyrics (so much RENT feels with the songs!), the musical owes so much of its strength to its amazing three-person cast and effective production. Devoid of the usual elaborate set design (as the piece calls for it and not for budgetary reasons, haha), I was still taken to New York and experienced the character’s complex lives in the city.  The simple yet functional set proved to be effective as I got the homey feel and voyeuristic vibe. The space was maximized for movement and I found myself focusing more on the story’s characters and their emotions.

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Speaking of characters, the lead star Jef Flores, aside from his stage charm and presence, gave depth to Jon’s character with his subtle yet impactful portrayal. I personally felt the burden of a birthday-fearing guy who had problems apart from his career choice.  His musical partners Tanya Manalang and Ariel Reonal were excellent in providing support as they effortlessly switched from one character to another – be it serious or comical. The trio’s powerful vocal prowesses were, of course, never in question.

For an hour and a half (with NO INTERMISSION), I was in for a mix of emotions, finding myself laughing at one point and teary-eyed at another. I feel that for anyone who has gone through a major life decision (and those who are still trapped by life’s choices and society’s demands), this production will hit close to home. It’s a reminder that when dazed by life’s antics, go back to the basics – live and love.

tick, tick…BOOM! cast: Jef Flores, Tanya Manalang and Ariel Reonal

Get more information about tick, tick…BOOM!’s story and cast in our other feature HERE.

tick, tickBOOM! is directed by Robbie Guevara, Daniel Bartolome as musical director, Elisanta Cortez as vocal supervisor, Arnold Trinidad as choreographer, Mio Infante as scenographer, Mickey Hirai as costume designer and stylist, Martin Esteva as lighting designer, Myrene Santos as hair and makeup designer, Philleep Masaquel as Technical Director, JC Inocian as photographer, and Maine Manalansan as graphic creative manager.

Heading the production team is executive producer Santi Santamaria, with Anna Santamaria as company manager,Sunshine Domine as production manager, Toff de Venecia as PR director, Jonjon Martin and Issa Tuason as PR managers, GM Hernandez as marketing manager, and Arma Bonilla as stage manager.

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October 15, 16, 21, 22 & 23, 2016 at 8:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3:30pm on Sundays at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium (RCBC Plaza).

For further inquiries, contact 586-7105, 0917-5545560, Ticketworld at 891-9999, or email [email protected].

Facebook: 9WorksTheatrical

Twitter & Instagram: @9WTonline.

Hashtag: #9WTticktickboom

tick, tickBOOM! is brought to you by 9 Works Theatrical, in association with The Rockwell Club and MAC Cosmetics as the official make-up partner.
tick, tickBOOM! is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

Random Note: I’ve been singing this song for days since I watched tick, tick…BOOM! 🙂 So many other LSS-worthy songs to watch out for.



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About Author

RandomRepublika.com: Kate Adajar

Despite being in the field of brand marketing, Kate still nurtures her love for the arts through dabbling in creative hobbies such as illustration, visual design, makeup artistry, and cake decorating. Recently, she has also discovered a fondness for watercolor painting and calligraphy.

A self-confessed TV, lifestyle, and travel junkie, Kate utilizes Random Republika as a venue for her random thoughts and discoveries.

Follow my food and other random doodles via @sliceofk on Instagram.

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