No More! The Stars of tick, tick…BOOM! Recall Their Least Glamorous Living Situations

June 24th, 2014 by

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No More! The Stars of tick, tick…BOOM! Recall Their Least...

Encores! Off-Center series kicks off this week with a staging of Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical tick, tick…BOOM!, running at New York City Center June 25-28, and if you are anything like us, you wore out that 2001 original cast recording.

Brad Pitt Dancing

So what a treat it will be to finally see the musical live on stage with a dream cast that includes Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jonathan, Tony winner Karen Olivo as Susan (we’re counting the seconds until she sings “Come To Your Senses”) and stage and screen star Leslie Odom Jr. as Michael.

Tick tick boom-Gif- Karen Olivo- Lin-Manuel Miranda- Leslie Odom Jr.

When we caught up with the talented trio in rehearsal, we asked each of them to tell us about the worst apartment you’ve ever had here in NYC (obviously jumping off the tick, tick…BOOM! song “No More” about escaping a bad apt). And here’s what they said.

Leslie Odom Jr. (Michael)

Leslie Odom Jr.

Photo by Joan Marcus


“I took a sublet sight unseen—just based on pictures—and the only thing a picture can’t tell you is how something smells. And so I show from L.A., and the woman had three or four cats and the litter boxes…it was one of the worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had. I was supposed to stay there for two or three weeks, but the next day I told her she could keep the money but I had to find a new place to stay. So that was certainly the worst.”

Karen Olivo (Susan)

Karen Olivo- tick tick boom

Photo by Joan Marcus


“My worst apartment was Madison and 5th Avenue, and it was not great. It was the projects and it was illegal. My friend somehow had a family member who had it and they moved out, and she skipped right in there. I ended up sleeping on a couch with exposed springs and all—I’m not even making that up. I was there for two or three months, working three jobs. It was a transitional part of my life.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jonathan)

Lin-Manuel Miranda- tick tick boom

Photo by Joan Marcus


“I don’t mean to disappoint you, but I didn’t have a terrible apartment. Like Jonathan Larson, I was the one person who stayed in a giant three-bedroom in Inwood, while lots of friends moved in and out. So from age 22 to age 27—when Heights opened off-Broadway—I lived at 5000 Broadway at 212 Street and it was close to the train. The ceilings did leak every time it snowed; they would amass and our living room would cave in, but that’s just what happened. We had the snow buckets and that was part of it, but I don’t want to call that a bad apartment. I didn’t escape from it; I stayed. I had eight different roommates over the course of six years, and I would just get out the snow buckets in the winter.”

Seriously, don’t miss Lin, Karen and Leslie bring Jonathan Larson’s electrifying and powerful 'tick, tick Boom' to life at New York City June 25- June 28.