From Sellout to Sold Out

It’s reassuring to starving artists/waiters everywhere that the multiple Tony Award-winning creator of Rent, the late Jonathan Larson, was a decade-long waiter who seriously entertained the idea of giving up his art for a more conventional path. Larson’s pre-Rent doubts are showcased in the posthumously produced rock musical, Tick, Tick…BOOM!, which opens tonight at Boulder’s Dairy Center.

Performed by Evolution Theatre Company, BOOM is Larson’s autobiographical meditation on the virtues of art versus convention. “From a historical standpoint, it’s interesting to see that Jonathan almost hung it up to pursue a different life,” notes producer Britta Laree. Focused on the days leading up to a young composer’s thirtieth birthday, the Jon character responds to pressures from his matrimony-minded girlfriend and his financially successful best friend while trying to write the great American musical. “As a stand-alone piece, the story speaks to almost everyone,” says Laree. “Who knows exactly what they want to do? Whose dreams are always practical? Is it such a terrible thing to explore a safer path? Is it really selling out?”

Tick, Tick…BOOM! opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and runs through May 23 at the Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder. Tickets are $25, $20 for students; for details, call 303-444-7328 or go to
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 16, 2 p.m.; Sun., May 23, 2 p.m. Starts: May 7. Continues through May 22, 2010