Tick, Tick... Boom! (movie)

Started by scenicdesign71, Jun 28, 2019, 06:46 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Dec 20, 2019, 04:34 pm #15 Last Edit: Jan 01, 2020, 05:35 pm by scenicdesign71
This may be another of my patented ridiculous about-faces, but last night I got a phone call from a friend who was driving home from seeing Cats and needed someone to splutter to about its hallucinatory, brain-mangling weirdness.

The upshot of which is that, where I had been feeling reluctantly obligated to see it, by the end of our conversation I was almost desperately eager to do so.  Judging by my friend's descriptions, the movie was starting to sound like some fabulous hybrid of Rocky Horror cult object-in-the-making and actual, not-quite-under-the-radar avant-garde subversiveness.  And something one should decidedly not let small children anywhere near.

All of which would likely baffle its creators -- or perhaps not -- and all of which raises hope that there might be a DVD "alternate version" with all the digital fur restored, just to jack up the jaw-dropping-FUBAR quotient even further.

But my friend and I don't always share the same taste, so I could easily be disappointed.  I do plan on seeing the movie, perhaps at a midnight showing this weekend, but I'm not discounting the likelihood that -- camp value (if any) notwithstanding -- I might still just find it tedious, ugly and profoundly pointless.


Dec 20, 2019, 07:32 pm #16 Last Edit: Jan 01, 2020, 05:38 pm by scenicdesign71
Also, in what may be a felicitously-timed bit of damage control, MGM today released a glamorous teaser for RESPECT, with Hudson defiantly bouncing back from her weepy Grizabella in full Queen Of Soul mode:


Jan 01, 2020, 05:33 pm #17 Last Edit: Jan 20, 2020, 11:55 pm by scenicdesign71
One of my lesser (way lesser) New Year's resolutions is to quit dragging this particular thread off into seemingly every subject BUT tick, tick... BOOM!.

But just for closure on the subject of the Cats movie: I did finally see it a few days ago.  More than enough digital ink has been spilled across the interweb (including by me, here) mocking its inexplicable why-was-this-ever-even-a-thing? weirdness, so I'll just say: it's pretty terrible, and not even very interesting in its terrible-ness.


I agree. That's the worst kind of terrible. It's pointless.



Jan 30, 2020, 03:15 pm #20 Last Edit: Apr 24, 2020, 01:11 pm by scenicdesign71
I had not seen that, Kathy -- thanks for posting!

But I couldn't get your link to work, so I googled it and discovered that Judith Light and Joshua Henry are also joining the cast, as Jon's agent Rosa Stevens and someone called Roger, respectively.  I don't recall anyone by the name of Roger being mentioned in the original libretto, but its coincidence with that of the Rent character set me to wondering whether screenwriter Steven Levenson might be tinkering with the book to the extent of having the musical on which Jon has pinned his hopes be Rent itself rather than his unsuccessful earlier effort, a dystopian space opera called Superbia, from which "Come To Your Senses" is drawn.  It may or may not be meaningful that IMDb credits Larson himself as TTB's original bookwriter, with no mention of David Auburn, who actually reshaped Larson's original material fairly substantially.

Auburn made a point, in 2001, of not foreshadowing Larson's tragic death on the eve of his success: the young composer's own confessions of feeling as though his "heart would explode" from thwarted ambition were, ironically, cut after being deemed so on-the-nose -- five years after his death from an undiagnosed aortic aneurism -- that they might register as ham-handedly manipulative and implausible, despite being Larson's own words.  But I could imagine that, twenty years later, the story of Larson's life after his thirtieth birthday -- including his untimely death and posthumous mega-success -- might be too dramatically compelling for a screenwriter to ignore entirely.  (Likewise, perhaps, the chance to clear up a popular misconception: now that this is all ancient history, it seems some people are under the false impression that Larson died of HIV/AIDS).

As far as Rosa and SJS are concerned -- in the original, they're both just voices on Jon's answering machine.  As I recall, Rosa's was performed live by the actress who played Susan -- ditto Jon's parents' messages, voiced by "Susan" and "Michael" -- much like the many answering-machine messages, including those of similarly "concerned parents," voiced by the ensemble in Rent.  (I don't know whether this device was already a holdover, during Larson's life, from his original solo performances [of the material that would eventually become TTB] to Rent five-ish years later; or conversely, whether Auburn added these (spoken, not sung, IIRC) answering-machine messages to TTB in 2001, as a subtle nod to the by-then-widely-known Rent).

But Sondheim's message was pre-recorded, and sounded unmistakably like the voice of the real SJS -- either gamely recorded for the 2001 Off-B'way production or, for all I know, the actual recorded first contact between the two composers following Larson's 1991 Superbia workshop.  (If such a voicemail did really occur, it would almost surprise me if Larson hadn't saved the answering-machine cassette as a treasured memento, and it then seems plausible that the show's adaptors might have found it among his papers and recordings while pulling tick, tick...BOOM into its final form).

I was actually good friends with TTB's original director at that time, and I seem to vaguely recall him having said something that might have answered one or both of these questions, but I can't remember for sure.  However, when I designed a production of it six years later, I do seem to recall Sondheim's voicemail once again sounding like the man Himself -- which leads me to suppose that that recording might have been included with the production rights to the show.


May 19, 2020, 09:59 pm #21 Last Edit: Jun 18, 2020, 12:05 pm by scenicdesign71
TTB love-fest (cast interviewed before the pandemic hiatus):


Broadway Direct's decision to publish this article now would seem to suggest that, so far at least, they're not planning to shelve the film on account of the world ending or anything.  Hopefully the same is true of the Jake Gyllenhaal Fun Home film -- though that wasn't actually in production yet anyway, hence presumably not directly affected by the shutdown.

Speaking of these two upcoming flicks (both decidedly on the smaller end of the scale, as movie musicals go): with all kinds of ideas flying around, in recent months, about what the film & TV industries will look like when they come back, I've been thinking that an emphasis on much smaller-scale, more intimate types of scripts might be the single most plausible move (in terms of actually keeping our industry's workers safe, that is) that I can imagine for the indefinite future.

(To me personally, "the indefinite future" means until a vaccine is developed or a cure found, or until herd immunity eventually halts the virus's spread.  I've now been on enough sets -- which are invariably a logistical shitshow even under the best of circumstances -- to be highly skeptical about the feasibility of making daily testing, masks, split shifts and physical distancing work safely on the scale of a major, big-budget motion picture or TV show.  As a waaaaaay-below-the-line peon myself, I have zero confidence that corners would not inevitably be cut -- not for the stars, undoubtedly; but for those of us who are considered highly replaceable, almost certainly.  And even under the unlikely assumption that producers would be willing to distend their production schedules and inflate their budgets by orders of magnitude in order to be truly fastidious about safety on blockbuster-scale sets with enormous casts and crews -- if I try to imagine the effect of the necessary measures on my own former "average workday," I find it almost impossible to imagine anything whatsoever actually getting done).