The Netflix movie Tick Tick… Boom! is one of the last projects on which the composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim worked before his death on November 26th. Lin-Manuel Miranda wanted to share a filming anecdote about him.
He passed away on November 26 at the age of 91 and left the Broadway world in mourning: Stephen Sondheim is gone, leaving behind unforgettable works ranging from West Side Story to Sweeney Todd. The man had a definite influence on hundreds of other composers including a certain Jonathan Larson. Whoever signed the hit musical Rent was able to count on the help of his mentor to succeed in the industry. An encounter recounted in the Netflix film Tick Tick… Boom! .
In this musical, young student Larson presents Superbia, a futuristic Orwell-inspired play that many find incomprehensible. Except Sondheim, invited that day to judge the student. He will even leave him a message on his answering machine, in which he will push the young man to pursue his career and to continue writing. It is Bradley Whitford who lends him his features on the screen.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who directs the film, wanted to show the film in preview to Stephen Sondheim. The latter revealed in an interview given to New Yorker that the composer wanted to rewrite a line, because it didn’t really sound like him:
“When I sent the film to Sondheim, he responded by thanking me warmly for “showing it so well on screen”. Then add: “” But the answering machine message at the end sounds a bit cliché. I never would have said such a thing (“I have a feeling that a bright future awaits you”). Can I afford to rewrite this line? I’ll save it for you if you can’t get the actor backr “.
A wish that Miranda has obviously granted since it is indeed Sondheim’s voice that we hear in this sequence… A beautiful anecdote and a nice tribute.