The movie takes place in New York City eight days before Jonathan Larson’s birthday. He’s turning 30 and nowhere near the life he thought he’d be living. It’s 1990, he feels that his youth is at an end and he doesn’t have a single play to his name that hasn’t made it passed being workshopped.
With the driving back beat of the city in his ears and the ringing bell of the Moondance diner’s front door chime, he’s got his mind on finally finishing Superbia, the musical he’s been writing for five years.
Jonathan is on the precipice of what could be greatness, but his play is missing a key component and it wont’ be finished until he finds the words to bring the story full circle.
Interwoven in this plot is his strained romance with his girlfriend Susan, his friendship with Michael who gave up his artist’s dreams for an office at a big advertising firm, and the specter of the AIDS epidemic which is ripping through the city.
Larson was a real life musical theater writer who created the hit Broadway musical, Rent, but tragically never show its first public performance. Is Tick Tick Boom actually based on the real playwright’s life? Here’s what we know!
Is Tick, Tick Boom based on a true story?
Tick, Tick Boom is a film adaptation of Larson’s autobiographical musical of the same name. It’s based on his life but, as is pointed out in the movie, everything unfolding on the screen is true except for the parts that he made up.
Larson’s songs that he wrote and scored for the play are featured throughout Tick Tick Boom and the film acknowledges his journey as a struggling playwright trying to make it in a city full of dreamers.