Tuesday, February 19, 2013

tick, tick...BOOM! at the Aux Dog Theatre

There's something unmatched to seeing an artistic expression in the intimate setting of a small theater with a talented cast. Experimental by nature, "tick, tick...BOOM!" is best known as Jonathan Larson's musical expression of the frustration and malaise of a stalled artistic career, long before his later success with "Rent."

The cast carries the burden of telling the story entirely between the three leads, Jason Adam Cox (Jon, the main character), Gilbert Sanchez (Michael, Jon's successful best friend who left dreams of music behind), and Brittany Reinholz (Susan, who waits patiently for Jon's career to synch up with her own relationship needs).

Set in 1990, turning 30 years old, the show describes the stagnation not only of a singular artist, but also of the larger American culture, as well as the difficulty breaking into the Broadway scene. Larson performed the earliest version of "tick, tick...BOOM!" as a monologue piece although the largely autobiographical script was written posthumously, based off Larson's monologue's text & musical notes. Savvy listeners will hear Larson's touches, and recognize them as the musical doodles he "sketched" while working towards something even greater.

Directed by Scott Schuster, with musical direction by Jonathan Gallegos, Aux Dog's Producing Artistic Director V.J. Liberatori handpicked the show for the Aux Dog's repertory. Given the intimacy of the cast, the set's design, and the theater itself, it makes for a good match. Strong vocals allow the leads to sing over live musicians without body mikes, something worth speaking for.

Running until March 3rd, there's still plenty of time to catch this one, showtimes are Fridays & Saturdays, 8 pm and Sunday 2 pm matinees, call for tickets at 505-254-7716 or visit their site online at www.auxdog.com.

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