New York Film Locations

Tick, Tick... Boom! Launched on Netflix

19 November 2021

The American biographical musical drama film "Tick, Tick... Boom!" was launched on Netflix today. Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and from a screenplay by Steven Levenson, based on the stage musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson, the film stars Andrew Garfield, Robin de Jesús, Alexandra Shipp, Joshua Henry, with Judith Light, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Film Poster for Tick, Tick... Boom!

The film follows Jon played by Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner Andrew Garfield, a young theater composer who is waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. Days before he is due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere: from his girlfriend Susan, played by Alexandra Shipp, who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York City; from his friend Michael, who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security; amidst an artistic community being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. With the clock ticking, Jon is at a crossroads and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have? tick, tick...BOOM!

Film: Tick, Tick... Boom!

Principal photography began in March 2020. However, the production only filmed for eight days before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown, with the last day of filming taking place on 12th March, 2020 outside of Larson's real apartment at 508 Greenwich Street. Production resumed in October 2020 and wrapped in November 2020.

Film: Tick, Tick... Boom!

The film's production designers painstakingly recreated both the Moondance Diner and Larson's former apartment at 508 Greenwich Street, in the latter case sourcing some of Larson's actual possessions to decorate the set. Pascal, Rubin-Vega, and Heredia described visiting the apartment set as a surreal experience, as all three had gathered at the real Larson's apartment during Rent's development. The pool scenes were shot at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center in the West Village. The location was chosen due to its resemblance to that described in the lyrics of "Swimming": it was only during filming that the designers and creative team learned this was the actual swimming pool Larson frequented. Although David Armstrong is credited as Andrew Garfield's swimming double, Garfield performed all of the swimming in the film himself: his father Richard Garfield is the head coach of the Guildford City Swimming Club and had trained him in the past.

Film: Tick, Tick... Boom!

"Sunday", which parodies the Act 1 finale of the same name from Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, had only ever been performed by Larson himself during his lifetime, so Miranda wanted to depict Larson's "dream choir" for the pivotal sequence. This included the actors who inspired him, particularly Peters for her role in Sunday in the Park with George, but also his future collaborators in Pascal, Rubin-Vega, and Heredia, as well as cast members from shows that Miranda considers "direct descendants" of Larson's work: Malone appears dressed as Big Alison from Fun Home, while Goldsberry and Soo wear the colours and strike the pose of the Schuyler sisters from Miranda's own Hamilton. Miranda also recruited Michael Starobin, who orchestrated Sunday in the Park with George, to achieve the sound of the Sondheim parody. The scene was shot under heavy COVID protocols, particularly for some of the older actors. Miranda's cameo in the scene was written for Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason, who starred in the original Broadway cast of Sondheim's Into the Woods, but COVID restrictions prevented them from appearing.

Film: Tick, Tick... Boom!

The film includes a number of references, both visual and auditory, to Larson's later work Rent: besides Pascal, Rubin-Vega, and Heredia's cameos, Jonathan calls Michael "pookie" in one scene, the Cat Scratch Club appears in the background of "Play Game", and Jonathan plays "One Song Glory" on his keyboard at one point.[39] The team had hoped to include more locations associated with Rent, such as Tompkins Square Park and the Life Cafe in the East Village, but COVID restrictions resulted in most of these scenes being moved to the diner.

Vanessa Hudgens

Starring alongside lead actor Garfield was Vanessa Hudgens, who first rose to fame portraying Gabriella Montez in the "High School Musical" film series, which brought her significant mainstream success. The success of the first film led Hudgens to acquire a recording contract with Hollywood Records, with whom she released two studio albums, "V" in 2006 and "Identified" in 2008.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens

Since the release of her studio albums and the "High School Musical" franchise, Hudgens has focused on her acting career. She has appeared in the films "Bandslam", "Beastly", "Sucker Punch", "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island", and "Spring Breakers". Hudgens played the role of Emily Locke in the NBC series "Powerless". She also played the title role in the Broadway musical "Gigi" and had roles in two of Fox’s live musical productions: Rizzo in "Grease: Live" and Maureen Johnson in "Rent: Live".

Actress Vanessa Hudgens

In 2018, Hudgens starred in the romantic comedy film "Dog Days", alongside Finn Wolfhard and Nina Dobrev. She starred in the Netflix film "The Princess Switch" in November 2018, in which she portrayed both a European duchess and a pastry chef from Chicago, who temporarily switch roles. In December 2018, she co-starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in the comedy film "Second Act", directed by Peter Segal, which was shot in New York City and featured the locations; One World Trade Center, Palace Hotel at 455 Madison Avenue, 82 Mercer Street, Bethesda Terrace in Central Park and Grand Central Terminal.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens

Hudgens appeared in the third entry in the Bad Boys franchise, "Bad Boys for Life", in January 2020 which grossed over $426 million worldwide. She also starred in and produced the 2020 sequel "The Princess Switch: Switched Again", portraying an additional third role.

In November 2021 Hudgens appeared in a Netflix film adaption of the musical "Tick, Tick... Boom!", as playwright Jonathan Larson's friend Karessa Johnson, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens

The full list of film locations from "ick, Tick... Boom!" will be posted on otsoNY in early 2022.


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