Tick ​​Tick Boom: Larson, Miranda & Sondheim | Seriefonia

In this Seriefonia, double news since we evoke the film Tik Tik Boom and the disappearance of a great name from Broadway: Stephen Sondheim.

[Extrait Sonore « Tick Tick Boom, 1991 »]

[« SérieFonia : Season IV : Opening Credits » – Jérôme Marie]

The great Musical family is in mourning… This November 26, Stephen Sondheim passed away at the age of 91… And I happened to hear the news while I was, literally, watching the film Tick ​​Tick Boom, on Netflix, to dedicate this Fonia Series to composer and author Jonathan Larson. So yes, I know, in France, these two names are far from speaking to the greatest number … But it turns out that Tick Tick Boom brings them both together … Sondheim as a Mentor or, at least, as an occasional guide to the very , too, short career that was that of Larson. Exactly as the film so brilliantly shows …

[« Tick Tick Boom, 2021 – 3090 » – Jonathan Larson]

Tick ​​Tick Boom… And no, I’ll stop you right now, the title is far from being stupid and even less annecdotal… it is therefore the adaptation of the one-man-show created by Jonathan Larson at the very beginning of the 90s , in which he simply told… his life. At least in part. Certain scenes – or pieces of scenes – being deliberately invented from scratch … And the great strength of this film is precisely to respect both the semi-autobiographical, semi-fictive approach undertaken at the time by the young author, everything by embellishing it with elements of his life after Tick Tick Boom. Because, I haven’t told you yet, but Jonathan Larson… left far too early at the age of 35… He’s just the one who wrote and composed one of the greatest Mucicals of all time …

[« Rent, The Movie – Take Me or Leave Me » – Jonathan Larson]

Rent. Adapted to the cinema by Chris Columbus in 2005, the show is a transposition of Puccini’s La Bohème in contemporary New York at its creation, by staging two roommates and their entourage against a background of AIDS, drugs, love and of disillusionment… a musical with natural rock opera tunes, strong and perfectly humanized subjects… The ultimate testimony of an era as much lulled by dreams as by dramas… exactly like what Larson’s life was like… died of a ruptured aneurysm… the very morning of the very first performance of his work on Off-Broadway, January 25, 1996 in New York. No less than 4 Tony Awards (including best Show, libretto and music … in addition to the posthumous Pulitzer Prize … Rent has continued to live on stage ever since. This year 2021 having been marked by the US tour of the 25 years of the show …

[« Rent – Rent » – Jonathan Larson]

As the film Tick Tick Boom clearly shows, Jonathan Larson has very few completed works to his credit… But it all really started in 1990 when he finally got the opportunity to show an audience of professionals the show. that he took almost 8 years to write: Superbia. A Musical SF which receives encouragement from… Stephen Sondheim, with whom he had been in correspondence for several years already. And in 1987, Sondheim even opened the doors to rehearsals of his…

[« Into the Woods – Prologue » – Stephen Sondheim / James Lapine]

Into the Woods! THE Musical composed by Sondheim on texts by James Lapine, which plays with fairy-tale codes with as much humor as respect and inventiveness … and which was also brilliantly adapted in 2014 by director Rob Marshall for Disney studios. But, of course, if you know Stephen Sondheim, it is above all for that …

[« West Side Story, 1961 – America » – Leonard Bernstein / Stephen Sondheim]

West Side Story… which also returns this month under the camera of Steven Spielberg… Of course, the score remains the work of Leonard Bernstein… But it is indeed Stephen Sondheim who signed the lyrics. Throughout his career, he has thus alternated between composition, writing and production. So, in order to pay tribute to him here, let’s dive back for a few seconds into 1973… when the actress Glynis Johns performed the flagship song “Send in the Clowns” in A Little Night Music.

[« A Little Night Music – Send in the Clowns » – Stephen Sondheim]

In 1979, he was also the one who created the show that Tim Burton would reclaim many years later… Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Do you remember the movie with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter? Well, on stage, it looked like this:

[« Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – No Place Like London » – Stephen Sondheim]

We also owed him Gypsy in 1959, Follies in 1971, Sunday in the Park with George in 84, or even Assassins in 1990… A great among the great, that we will not soon forget… It’s sad to say but, in a way, I’m still very happy to bring you this Musicals special today. Because beyond the only soundtrack of films or series, I love it… Ever since I was a kid, when my parents gave me the audio cassette of Les Misérables by Boublil and Schönberg… In the end, nothing beats the thrill of scene. This is what shines through in Tick Tick Boom. Love of genre, respect for man, passion for boards… Normal: this film is the very first directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. What?… Does that name mean anything to you either?… It’s just the guy who created In the Heights… Either ?! Okay… Does that mean the hell to you?!…

[« Hamilton – My Shot » – Lin-Manuel Miranda]

Are you ready? … 11 … No less than 11 Tony Awards in 2016. Absolute success … Hamilton was absolute success. And not only did he create, compose and write the show but, in addition, Lin-Manuel Miranda held the title role on off-Broadway first, then on Broadway afterwards! Hamilton, it traces a good part of the life of Alexander Hamilton, who was the First Secretary of the Treasury of the United States from September 1789 to January 1795. The show is one of a kind. Both classic and “hip-hop-izing”… The art of dusting off the codes of a genre often accused of being obsolete (especially with us)… we come out as galvanized as moved… And then, the official capture of the show is available on Disney +, so… No excuse! Okay, if not, other than that, you might have seen him recently as Lee Scoresby (unsung) in the His Dark Materials series. But, me, I adore it especially for that …

[« Mary Poppins Returns – Trip a Little Light Fantastic » – Marc Shaiman / Scott Wittman]

And yes: he was Jack in Mary Poppins Returns in 2018! The perfect combination between cinema and Musical… By making Tick Tick Boom his very first film, Lin-Manuel Miranda therefore continues to establish himself as one of the main figures of the genre… Extremely talented and sincere… Visibly moved and aware of the weight of the intrigue… of the life… that he stages. For the role of Jonathan Larson, the production called on Andrew Garfield. Yes, the same one that everyone hopes to find in Amazing Spider-Man in No Way Home in a few weeks at the cinema… And he too appears totally invested… almost possessed by the character and the cultural heritage that accompanies him . Anyway… Hats off, Gentlemen… You deserve a standing ovation… I leave you on one of my favorite songs from this Tick Tick Boom that I encourage you, what am I saying?… That I order you to go watch on Netflix, even if all of this would have amply deserved a theatrical distribution… The song is called “Why”… Why… Why did he have to leave just before seeing his dream finally come true?… Destiny is often cruel … But, fortunately, talent and art can make you immortal …

[« Tick Tick Boom, 2021 – Why » – Jonathan Larson]

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Tick ​​Tick Boom: Larson, Miranda & Sondheim | Seriefonia