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Sights and Sounds: Tick Tick Boom Press Conference

Sights and Sounds: Tick Tick Boom Press Conference

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Last September 7, 9 Works Theatrical held a press conference for its upcoming production, Tick Tick Boom, at The Loft, Rockwell.


“Starving artist,” or “struggling creative” is not an unfamiliar term to us. Articles abound online debating whether one should follow his passion or find stability and security in a career that may only be second in estimation. The verdict is still out on the proper choice to make but it is a question that has lingered in the hearts of everyone at some point in their lives.

This is what tick, tick… BOOM! is all about. The musical by Jonathan Larson is lauded as an autobiographical musical that was written prior to the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning musical hit Rent. After Jonathan Larson’s passing in 1996 (before the opening of Rent), his producer and friend Victoria Leacock asked David Auburn, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Proof, to revamp the “rock monologue” that was tick, tick… BOOM! who reconfigured the musical to a three-actor piece and was first staged in 2001.

(READ: 9 Works Theatrical Stages Jonathan Larson’s Tick Tick Boom)

The cast of tick, tick… BOOM!

tick, tick… BOOM! is the story of Jon, a struggling musical composer. Jon is turning 30 and has yet to make his mark. He questions whether he should continue his chosen career in the performing arts, one that has yet to reach a peak or breakthrough. His girlfriend, Susan, is a dancer, who teaches ballet to “wealthy and untalented children.” She, too, feels the pressure and longs to move out of New York to find a more stable and secure future. Then there is Michael, Jon’s best friend who was once an aspiring actor but gave it up to work as a marketing research executive.

Taking on the lead role of Jon is Gawad Buhay Best Actor (2015 for This Is Our Youth) Jef Flores. Jef’s debut in musical theater started in Repertory Philippine’s Camp Rock followed by Cinderella (Resorts World Manila), Pinocchio (Repertory Philippines), Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Resorts World Manila). In 2015, he took the lead role in his first straight play, 4,000 Miles (Repertory Philippines), where he garnered his first Gawad Buhay nomination for Best Actor. His other credits on stage include Snow White (Prince, Repertory Philippines), Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady (Bazooka Man, Dalanghita Productions), This Is Our Youth (Dennis, Red Turnip Theater), 3 Stars and a Sun (Winston, PETA), and Godspell (Jesus, MusicArtes). Outside of theater, Jef also starred in the television show The Boston: Kitchen Musical and Single/Single.

Making her 9 Works Theatrical debut as Susan, Tanya Manalang is fresh from her two-year journey in London as Kim in Cameron Mackintosh’s critically acclaimed West End production of Miss Saigon. Thrilled to be back home and performing in Philippine theater, she just recently finished playing Aileen in PETA’s fifth season of Rak of Aegis. Her other theater credits include performances in Resorts World Manila’s productions of The King and I (Tuptin), The Sound of Music (Liesl von Trapp) and Kaos. She played Carla in the Atlantis production of In the Heights. For Trumpets, Tanya was the original Lucy Pevensie in the first 1997 run of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and later returned to play Susan.

Rounding up the cast and playing Michael is theater veteran Ariel Reonal, who just finished a 2-year run on the West End revival of Miss Saigon as the Assistant Commissar. He’s no stranger to Miss Saigon as he was part of the UK touring production in 2004. He played Quasimodo at The Golden Mickeys at Hong Kong Disneyland. His Philippine theater credits include 9 Works Theatrical’s American Idiot as Joshua/Favorite Son, Disney’s Aladdin (Jafar, Repertory Philippines), Fame The Musical (Nick Piazza, Repertory Philippines), Himala (Pilo, Tanghalang Pilipino), Dreamgirls (Marty, Atlantis), Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon Zealotes/cover for Jesus, Atlantis), Blood Brothers (Sammy Johnstone, Repertory Philippines), among many others.

Photo Coverage by: Erickson dela Cruz
Video Coverage by: Nikki Francisco

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