Netflix viewers have been blown away by Andrew Garfield’s ‘spectacular’ portrayal of  composer Jonathan Larson in the new musical film Tick Tick…Boom! 

Starring Andrew and Vanessa Hudgens, the movie is a semi-autobiographical tale of composer/playwright Jonathan’s early days as he grapples with turning 30 and the harsh reality of life as a struggling artist.

He spent years working in a diner in New York and living in a tiny apartment, which didn’t even have heating, as he tried to make it as a composer and playwright. 

Larson was best known for the musical Rent. However, the playwright died unexpectedly at 36 just hours before Rent’s opening preview performance. 

Many viewers have been wowed by Garfield’s portrayal of the artist, with one writing: ‘What an incredible movie and a fantastic story. Jonathan, we are grateful.  

Netflix viewers have been blown away by Andrew Garfield's 'remarkable' portrayal of composer Jonathan Larsen in new musical Tick Tick...Boom!

Netflix viewers have been blown away by Andrew Garfield's 'remarkable' portrayal of composer Jonathan Larsen in new musical Tick Tick...Boom!

Andrew Garfield’s “remarkable” portrayal of Jonathan Larsen, composer for Rent has left Netflix viewers stunned. (left Jonathan Larson is the Rent composer, right Andrew Garfield in Tick Tick…Boom! 

Larson was born to Nanette and Allan Larson in New York, on February 4, 1960  and became interested in performing arts at a young age.

Throughout his childhood, he learned to play an assortment of instruments including piano, the trumpet and tuba.

He was involved with acting in high school and assumed the leading roles in several performances.  

Following his 1978 graduation, he was offered a 4-year scholarship at Adelphi University in New York. He studied acting. 

Starring Andrew and Vanessa Hudgens, the film is a semi-autobiographical tale of composer/playwright Jonathan's early days as he grapples with turning 30 and the harsh reality of life as a struggling artist

Starring Andrew and Vanessa Hudgens, the film is a semi-autobiographical tale of composer/playwright Jonathan’s early days as he grapples with turning 30 and the harsh reality of life as a struggling artist

Jonathan sent a fan mail to Stephen Sondheim while he was still at Adelphi. Stephen replied and became Jonathan’s mentor. 

In college, he started music composition and wrote music for small productions.  

Following his graduation with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, he moved in a fifth-floor loft without heating, which he shared with several roommates.  

Larson was a waiter at New York’s Moondance Diner for nine years. During the week, he wrote and composed musicals.  

Many viewers have been wowed by Garfield's portrayal of the artist, with some saying they were left in tears by the 'incredible' film

Garfield’s performance of Garfield as the artist has been captivating. Some viewers even said they were moved to tears by Garfield’s film. 


1.670 British males aged 65 and over were killed in 2016 by aneurysms. These sudden bursts are a more common cause of death than other cancers, such as skin or testicular.

The chances of surviving aneurysm surgery or dying are 50 percent.

Although an aortic aneurysm may cause pain, most people don’t realize they have it until they are scanned.

It can rupture, causing mass internal bleeding that is often fatal.

While no one is certain of the reason, there are some theories. For example, smoking can cause hardening in the arteries.

The risk of blood vessel burst is also increased by eating high-fat and overweight diets.

Patients suffering from aneurysms have excellent long-term prospects. It is crucial to quit smoking.


It was a difficult period for Larson, who attempted to write several  theatre shows, with varying success.   

Larson’s 1983-90 work on Superbia was intended to be a futureistic rock adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. 

It was not fully realized, however, even though it had some success.

His next work, Tick, tick…Boom! His feelings of disappointment at Superbia’s defeat were documented. 

Larson sings and broods as he struggles with his 30th birthday and life as an artist in struggle. 

This show was staged off-Broadway at Greenwich Village’s Village Gate and the Second Stage Theater (on the Upper West Side). 

It was in 1988 that playwright Billy Aronson came up with the idea to write a musical update of La Bohème. 

He wanted to create ‘a musical inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, in which the luscious splendor of Puccini’s world would be replaced with the coarseness and noise of modern New York’.

The following year, he contacted Larson to collaborate  on the project. 

Aronson wanted him to share his personal experience so he asked Aronson in 1991 if he would use their original idea and create Rent. 

Larson brought  autobiographical elements to the project, including Because their house is not heated enough, he and his friends kept a illegal wood-burning stove.  

Larson, who had recently lost many friends in the AIDS epidemic, was now on the stage. The musical tells the story of a group young people struggling to make it through the AIDS shadows and live in Lower Manhattan’s East Village. 

But days before Rent was due to be previewed on stage, Larson began suffering severe chest pains, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

The composer went on to write Rent, which premiered Off-Broadway on January 25, 1996 (pictured)

Rent was written by the composer, and premiered Off-Broadway in January 1996. (pictured). 

After Larson's death, and the massive success of Rent, Pulitzer-winning playwright David Auburn (Proof) was brought in to re-configure the one-man show Tick, Tick...Boom into a three-character musical (pictured, Andrew Garfield in the film)

After Larson’s passing and Rent’s enormous success, Pulitzer winning playwright David Auburn, (Proof), was brought in by the Pulitzer Committee to reconfigure the one-man show Tick, Tick…Boom, into a musical with three characters (pictured, Andrew Garfield). 

Cabrini Medical Center’s and St. Vincent’s Hospital doctors could not detect an aortic aneurysm despite conducting an electrocardiogram and chest X-ray. They misdiagnosed the condition as stress or flu. 

What’s Marfan Syndrome?

Marfan syndrome is a disorder of the body’s connective tissues – a group of tissues that maintain the structure of the body and support internal organs and other tissues.

The disorder is often passed on to their children from one parent.

Marfan syndrome has the following characteristics:

  • Being tall
  • Abnormally long and slim limbs, fingers, or toes (arachnodactyly).
  • heart defects
  • lens dislocation – the lens of the eye falls into an abnormal position   

Marfan syndrome is a condition that cannot be cured. Treatment focuses on the management of symptoms and the prevention of further complications. 

However Larson died at his home in the early morning hours of January 25, 1996, the day of Rent’s first Off-Broadway preview performance. 

His aortic dissection was believed to be caused undiagnosed Marfan syndrome.

New York State Medical Investigators found that Larson could have survived if his aortic dissection was properly diagnosed and managed with surgery repair.

Hours after his death, Larson’s parents gave their blessing to open the show. 

Rent performed through its engagement to sell-out crowds, and was continuously extended. 

It moved to Broadway, and opened at the Nederlander Theatre on April 29, 1996.

The Broadway premiere was on September 7, 2008.  

Following Larson’s passing and Rent’s huge success, Pulitzer-winning playwright David Auburn was hired to remake the one-man musical Tick, Tick…Boom.

Tick, Tick… Boom was remade in 2001 and debuted on Broadway. It starred Raul Esparza playing Jon, Jerry Dixon portraying Michael, and Amy Spanger portraying Susan.

Lin-Manuel Miranda was the Encores’ Jon! The film adaptation was directed by Robin de Jesus, who played Michael, and Alexandra Shipp, who played Susan in the 2014 Off-Center revival. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played Jon in the Encores! Off-Center revival in 2014, directed the film adaptation, with Robin de Jesus playing Michael and Alexandra Shipp playing Susan

Lin-Manuel Miranda played Jon in Encores! Robin de Jesus played Michael while Alexandra Shipp was Susan. The adaptation of the movie was produced by Off-Center in 2014.

The Netflix premiere was over the weekend. Many viewers were stunned by Garfield’s portrayal Larson.

A commenter said: “Finally, watching TickTickBoom. I am already crying after the first song so it’s going to be a long nights I guess.” I love every second of it.

One other wrote, “Barely beyond the opening credits – already crying.”

One third said: “Tick, tick…Boom is fantastic. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I feel so emotional that it makes me cry. Lin Manuel Miranda’s future is bright, as he will be directing movies and Broadway musicals.