LALT Opens Season With a Boom

The countdown is underway for “tick, tick… BOOM!” — the opening production
in Los Alamos Little Theatre’s 2019-20 season.The show will run Sept. 13 – 28 with performances at 7:30 pm Fridays and
Saturdays and a 2 pm matinee Sunday, Sept. 22, at Los Alamos County’s
Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St.

Written by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning
author of “Rent,”  the small-cast musical “tick, tick… BOOM!” follows an
aspiring composer trying to make it on Broadway but beginning to question
his life choices.

“This play is a hidden gem of a rock musical that I wanted Los Alamos to
discover,” said director Tim Orcutt. He added that the play has not
previously been performed in New Mexico.

“I think audiences will gain an appreciation for the author’s struggles on
many fronts, and often this is where great art comes from,” Orcutt said.
“Jonathan Larson made a choice to pursue his passion, regardless of the
cost.  I, like most people, took the practical route and put my family
first.  But we all sometimes wonder ‘…what if?’”Christine Armenion, a newcomer to LALT, said, “I am a big fan of Jonathan
Larson. After I saw the audition posting I binged the soundtrack and fell
in love all over again with the way Larson writes and his musical style.
The songs are amazing and to get to perform them with such an outstanding
cast is really a dream!”

Set in 1990, the main character in “tick, tick … BOOM!” earns an income
waiting tables while trying to interest Broadway’s movers and shakers in
his musical.  Meanwhile, his girlfriend wants to get married and move out
of New York City and his best friend has found a lucrative job on Madison
Avenue, providing contrasting visions of a future to his struggling artist
schtick.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, of “Hamilton” fame, is directing a movie adaptation of
“tick, tick… BOOM!”  In an interview in “New York Magazine” he cited the
musical as a piece of art that had fundamentally changed him:  “[It]
straight-up felt like a message in a bottle from Jonathan Larson from
beyond the grave to me. Here’s this musical saying, ‘Hey, it was super
hard. And these friends who say they’re all moving to New York with you?
They’re not moving to New York with you. They’re going to get other jobs.’”

“I think we all feel a constant pressure to try and achieve our goals in a
certain timeline, whether that be in a career or in relationships, and it
can suck that spark of life out of you,” Armenion said.  “I hope after
watching this play audience members will remember the beauty in the
journey and be inspired to go after their goals with the mindset that
every failure leads to a success somewhere down the line.”

In addition to directing the musical Orcutt plays the lead character, Jon.
Armenion plays Susan, the girlfriend, and Patrick McDonald plays the
successful friend Michael. Both Armenion and McDonald also play a variety
of smaller roles to flesh out the story line, which originally was
performed as a one-person show by Larson.

Orcutt, who has an extensive theatre background, previously directed the
musical [title of show] for LALT.

“There’s a great deal of trust in [LALT] and for the most part a director
has free reign to do what he or she wants and has near-unlimited access to
the theatre,” Orcutt said. “There’s also a terrific infrastructure that
has allowed me access to top technical talent and help when I need it.”

“It feels really special to be a part of a community that takes pride in
bringing art to life and I’m really happy I was given the opportunity to
share in that passion,” Armenion said.

The play will be performed with a live band.  The role of musical director
is being shared between Brian Huysman and Nick Denissen. Other musicians
include Yelena Mealy, Omar Wooten, and David Rogers.

Tickets are available at Bliss Gift Emporium and CB Fox, online at Brown
Paper Tickets, or at the door, $15 for general admission and $13 for
seniors or students.