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Top 5 Musical Numbers From Tick. Tick…Boom!

Tick, Tick… Boom!, based on the play by Broadway legend Jonathan Larson, is a musical study of the playwright’s life, work, and tragic death. The musical numbers are crucial to the film’s success because it is a musical about a man attempting to compose a musical. The film alternates between Jonathan performing the musical numbers on stage and him reliving the circumstances that inspired him to compose the song, resulting in some dramatic and unforgettable musical moments.

From heartbreaking and personal numbers like “Why” and “Real Life,” to lighthearted songs like “Boho Days” and “No More,” to large energetic numbers like “30/90” and “Sunday,” the film is jam-packed with great songs that mix visually captivating visuals with memorable tunes.

1. “Swimming”

Swimming – Tick Tick…Boom!

Jonathan, who is suffering from writer’s block, goes for a swim to cleanse his thoughts. As he attempts to swim harder and faster, he displays his dissatisfaction. However, after slowing down, he is able to locate his inspiration, seeing musical notes appear down the pool’s floor.

While the music isn’t as memorable as some of the other songs, the setting is absolutely stunning. The underwater views are excellent, and Jonathan even gets to sing underwater. The graphic representation of the notes enhances the visual attractiveness of the musical piece.

2. “Real Life”

Real Life – Tick Tick…Boom!

When Jonathan hears that his play has no future, he begins to feel as if he is running out of time once more. He makes the error of blaming Michael for not knowing how he feels, forcing Michael to reveal his HIV diagnosis. In the song, the two-process this as Michael seeks medical care and Jonathan attempts to escape his thoughts and feelings.

The song is short, but it eloquently depicts the shock and agony of the moment. Despite their disagreements, the two protagonists care dearly for one other, and their anguish is obvious in the song, bringing people around them to tears as well. Given that Jonathan would go on to write one of the most significant tales on the AIDS pandemic, this was a watershed point in his life.

3. “Louder Than Words”

Louder Than Words – Tick Tick…Boom!

The show’s last performance concludes the tale, highlighting the decision that everyone must make on how they will spend their life. The song is largely about Jonathan singing the song on stage, with brief cutaways showing Jonathan healing relationships and chasing his aspirations.

It’s a dramatic and effective climax that sums up the film’s message, especially after the narration about Jonathan’s approaching death. He keeps looking out into the audience, expecting to spot Susan. Her disclosure to the camera, but not to Jonathan, is a subtle and rewarding move that adds to the number’s emotional impact.

4. “Boho Days”

Boho Days – Tick Tick…Boom!

Jonathan chooses to burst out into singing during a party at his house, completely amusing his party guests. He sings about his bohemian lifestyle, mocking his apartment arrangement, a rotating door of housemates, and disappointed life aspirations.

While the musical song is rather straightforward, Andrew Garfield’s outstanding performance adds charm and excitement to the moment. The song seems like a forerunner of “La Vie Bohème” from Rent, indicating that the writer was grappling with such topics years before. Jonathan is worried and pressured for time for much of the film, but this song is a joyful sequence that allows him to be the life of the party.

5. “Why”

Why – Tick Tick…Boom!

Following the news about Michael’s diagnosis, Jonathan struggles to process the information. He finds an empty outdoor theater and plays the piano while reflecting on his friendship with Michael and the limited time he has to spend.

The film underscores this emotional song with a sequence of video clips from Jonathan and Michael’s friendship, showing the deep history that the two have together. It is a touching and moving number that helps Jonathan come to his senses and figure out how he wants to live the rest of his life.

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Aditya Talwar
Aditya Talwar

I'm a 24 year old Lawyer, Born and raised in New Delhi, India. I'm an Anime Freak, NBA fan and a proud bookworm. Currently working as a staff Writer for AnimatedTimes & FandomWire, writing articles ranging from Marvel & DC to Hollywood & Anime.

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