Stress, pressure, anxiety, and depression are words commonly used nowadays, and they all exist in our daily lives, we may have encountered them in many forms could be from personal experience or someone around us. We have no escape from the internal pressure that we experience, the pressure from our family, and most of all, the pressure of society. We are all in a race to reach our goals, and with one misstep, everything might fall apart.
One of the primal human nature is to search for a refuge, a safe space where we can feel at home, welcome, and be heard. It is not enough to take the ball of emotion out of the box. We need to see a figure we can relate to, a familiar scenario that will inspire us to sort things out. We need to find some commonalities between us and a specific character.
The characters from Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick…BOOM! is a reflection of our realities. How much are we willing to endure for our passion? Our eagerness to change our world, our dreams and aspirations. The shift in our paths to survive. The value of time that is moving too fast. The importance of our relationships and how we conquer our fears.
9 Works Theatrical succeeded in creating a safe atmosphere by tackling issues that are close to everyone. A safe space where you can laugh, cry, and with characters that you can relate to. As many of us would say, “Theater is not all about entertainment, it awakens our awareness and heals our pain.”
They meticulously designed the stage with all the elements of the 80s crossing over the 90s aesthetics, such as appliances, and interior design, highlighting Johnny’s personality and state of mind. The shapes and geometries of the doors work well for their design. Despite all its strengths, the stage movements could be grander and dramatically executed, and the timing could have been smoother.
The make-up has so much potential, especially for Susan. Since the period of the play is the 90s, some prominent color pallets and shapes are from that time. Kudos to the hairdo for the different scenes it worked, specifically when Tanya changes from one character to another and back to her original character, Susan.
Changing costumes and switching characters might not be easy, but the cast and the production team made it look seamless. Reb Atadero’s exquisite performance is one of my favorites. He brought to the audience the highs and lows of emotions. His performance was natural and spontaneous, his stage presence was strong every time he stepped into the stage, and he made sure that every bit was worth it. The guy never missed a chance!
The main character Johnny was played by Jef Flores during that night. I like his effectiveness and consistency. He perfectly balanced the exchange of energy with his co-actors, he knows when to fade and he knows when to dominate on the stage, his timing and the build-up were perfect. I’m sure the audience was stunned and cried in some parts of his performance.
The vocals of Tanya Manalang were clear and powerful, and the switching of characters from Susan to another was distinct from one another. Her dynamic with her co-actors was very effective.
JM Cabling’s choreography is on point and refreshing. The dance sequences don’t feel too theatrical as it is relatable and realistic. His choreography is very welcoming, light, and not draggy, it was exciting to watch and it makes me feel that I want to see more.
The direction of Robbie Guevara for this restaging was clean and polished, the sequences were all tied up together. Yes, it is a restaging and yet everything was exciting and unpredictable.
None of these words will make sense if you’ll miss watching 9 Works Theatrical’s restaging of the three-person musical, tick, tick…BOOM!
Written: JC Salud
Photos: Axl Powerhouse Network