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In honor of ‘Tick, Tick … Boom,’ let’s revisit these classic movie musicals about composers

In honor of ‘Tick, Tick … Boom,’ let’s revisit these classic movie musicals about composers

Six years before his death in 1996, “Rent” composer Jonathan Larson began performing a solo semi-autobiographical musical “Tick, Tick…Boom!” about a young struggling composer named Jon who fears that he has made the wrong career choice. After his death, Larson’s show was expanded into a three-person piece by David Auburn that ran in London, off-Broadway, and as a national tour. Now it is an acclaimed new Netflix movie directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda (who appeared in a Encores production of the musical in 2014) and starring Andrew Garfield.

The composer bio movie genre has long been a favorite of Hollywood, especially during its Golden Age. But these bio-pics played fast and loose with the facts. The Production Code prevented these films from exploring the fact that Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart were gay. And some of these composers and/or their families were still alive and wanted a certain image presented on the big screen.

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