Cuckoo’s Theater Project Presents TICK, TICK…BOOM!! Review – INTIMATE MUSICAL THEATRE

The Cuckoo's Theater Project - TICK, TICK...BOOM!!!
Molly LeCaptain and Nic Eastlund

Anyone who has been through the crisis of “what have I accomplished now that I’m about to turn 30?” crisis will find this production of TICK, TICK...BOOM!!! relatable and enjoyable. Children of the 1990’s will revel in the nostalgia of their youth. Musical theatre buffs should jump at this chance to see Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical account of trying to make it as a musical composer.

The Cuckoo's Theater Project - TICK, TICK...BOOM!!!
Marc James and Nic Eastlund


The story focuses on John, a struggling musical theatre composer about to turn 30 with “nothing to show for it.” We follow his anxiety-ridden journey of getting a workshop of his latest musical on its feet, juggling relationship drama with his girlfriend and dealing with his best friend becoming successful outside the art world.

The Cuckoo's Theater Project - TICK, TICK...BOOM!!!
Molly LeCaptain, Nic Eastlund and Marc James


The small, cozy room lends perfectly to a show primarily set in a small New York City apartment. The sparse, yet effective, set designed by Bart O’Toole gives an intimate production an even more immense feeling of closeness. The audience literally resides with John and becomes a close, personal friend of his. The show was originally performed as a one man show, so the direct addresses to the audience reinforce this feeling of familiarity.

The small cast comprised of three actors gives each character an approachable vibe. Nic Eastlund perfectly captures the apprehension and confusion of being on the brink of your thirties. Molly LeCaptain gives a beautiful performance as John’s girlfriend determined to find her own path. Her vocal talent shines, as well as her comedic timing when embodying the caricature-like Rosa, John’s agent.


Musical theatre fanatics should flock to this production. It is truly heartbreaking to watch this story of Jonathan Larson if you are familiar with RENT and Larson’s untimely death. Seeing something he wrote prior to RENT that chronicles his struggles and eventual success is magical. This perspective adds an even more satisfying layer of enjoyment to an already lovely performance.

Photos by Oomphotography


Top Pick For: Musical Theatre Fans
Not recommended for: Those craving spectacle

Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.

Note: an excerpt of this review now appears in Theatre in Chicago. 


November 17 - December 17, 2017

Fridays at 8:00PM
Saturdays at 3:00PM and 8:00PM
Sundays at 3:00PM
*added Thursday performance December 14 at 8:00PM


Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, Chicago


Online at The Cuckoo's Theater Project Website
By phone at 312-882-8201

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