In the musical theater community, Jonathan Larson is a giant. Even though he only wrote a few musicals, his impact on Broadway is huge thanks to Rent and tick…tick…BOOM! Steven Levenson, who also wrote this year’s Dear Evan Hansen and is working on a new big screen adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof, is becoming one of our most dependable stage-to-screen writers.
What makes Levenson’s script for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick…tick…BOOM! so remarkable is that he combines a concert, a biopic, and a stage musical flawlessly. As Andrew Garfield’s Larson tells the story of how he created the show we are all watching, he is committing his own legacy to paper without even knowing it. It’s as if we are witnessing the creation of an artifact that we will revisit time and time again. This adaptation is exhilarating.
One of my favorite choices Levenson makes is Larson’s first line to his audience. He says, “Hi, I’m Jon,” without preamble, and it reminds us that he isn’t the megastar JONATHAN LARSON just yet. At the start of Miranda’s film, he’s just Jon, and we are so ready to thrilled to watch him create.
tick…tick…BOOM! is available to stream on Netflix.