Ng Chin Han on musical tick, tick… BOOM!

If you need to take a break from everyday life and do something fun, catch the musical tick, tick… BOOM!. Starring Christian Campbell, Nicole Snelson and Jerry Dixon, this stirring production is inspired by the life of the late composer Jonathan Larson—the guy who’s responsible for musicals such as Rent. We chat with Artist Director Ng Chin Han to learn more about the show, and his take on dreams.
OK, tell us about the plot!
It is based on the life of the late musical genius Jonathon Larson and how he had to overcome many struggles before finding success and suddenly dying at the young age of 35. tick, tick… BOOM! is about the clock that starts ticking when we are born and stops only when we die. We never know when the BOOM! is going to come, and Larson’s death reminds us to live every day to the fullest and to follow our hearts and dreams.
What lengths did Jonathan Larson go to in hope of achieving his dream?
To be near Broadway, he actually lived an apartment that was so small, the bathtub was in the kitchen. He also worked in a diner for 15 years, where he met all sorts of funny and interesting characters before he became an overnight success with the musical Rent.
Where has tick, tick… BOOM! been performed? How did audiences respond?
It has been performed on Broadway, London’s West End, and is currently in Los Angeles. The responses have been great from both young and old because they can relate to the difficult choices that have to be made at every stage in life. The main thing is to have the courage to make them. Time waits for no one.
It’s a pity Larson passed away before his musical Rent premiered. Do you think the process of pursuing your dream is more important than achieving your goal?
Yes, that is so true. We never know what the outcome will be so we had better enjoy the journey. And if the outcome is favorable, great! If not, we learn.
How do you think one should draw the line between idealism and naivety?
It’s like courage; you are only brave when you fear something and still do it. Idealism is when you know the odds and still believe a dream is worth pursuing or a cause is worth fighting for. Naivety is when you decide to do something and are clueless about the obstacles ahead of you.