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David Henry Hwang: ‘Tick, Tick … Boom!’ is ‘Heart-Wrenching Love Letter’ to Follow Dreams Despite Rejection

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David Henry Hwang Guest ColumnistFor Variety‘s Writers on Writers, David Henry Hwang pays tribute to “Tick, Tick … Boom!” (screenplay by Steven Levenson; based on the musical by Jonathan Larson).Movies about writers are notoriously difficult, since the central action of the protagonist is largely cerebral.

Here, that protagonist is composer-dramatist Jonathan Larson, whose musical “Rent” defined a generation.However, this story is not about the making of “Rent,” which would build to a victorious if bittersweet ending (Larson tragically passed away before the show’s first performance).

Instead, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” concerns an earlier show, “Superbia,” abandoned by its author after a disappointing developmental workshop.

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