TICK, TICK… BOOM! @ Koorliny Arts Centre gets 7/10

Tick, Tick… BOOM! @ Koorliny Arts Centre
Friday, August 24, 2019


The Koorliny Arts Centre delivered the goods by setting the scene with a wonderful atmosphere for Tick, Tick… BOOM!, directed by Taylor Broadley. Patrons seated themselves around tables with all manner of snacks and drinks, giving the venue a casual, comedy club vibe. It was easy to settle in and take in the set while anticipating this autobiographical pop-rock musical, written by the creator of Rent, Jonathan Larson.

The set, designed by Matthew Moynihan and Craig Delbridge, really added to the narrative of this musical set in the 1990s, with exposed brick walls that turned out to be a screen for projections as well. It felt intimate on stage, with the actors accompanied live by drummer Alex Kent, guitarist Vlad Sturdy, bassist Christian Ingram and keyboardist Taui Pinker, who also provided musical direction for the show.

All three of the actors absolutely nailed their American accents, as well as all of their musical numbers. Playing the main character of Jon, Joshua Towns was convincing as a struggling writer trying to keep his dream of making it big on broadway alive. Grace Johnson as Susan was a wonderful support to Towns, with a beautiful vocal range and a graceful but powerful presence. The outstanding performance on the night was Cat Perez as Michael, Jon’s friend who never stops believing in him. Perez’ presence was magnetic as they absolutely nailed their characterisation – both in their main role as Michael, as well as the smaller supporting extra roles they took on when required during the show’s progression. As the audience whooped and cheered after Perez’ solos, it was clear they were a firm crowd favourite.

While it had to be said that this musical’s numbers felt a lot more pop than rock, it was a highly enjoyable show. The three actors did a sterling job with what would have been a very demanding performance which led the audience through a raw story filled with both intimate and funny moments. Along with the awesome atmosphere in the Koorliny Arts Centre, this made for a very enjoyable night.