MVHS Theater Department Presents tick… tick… BOOM!

Hannah Ganzel as Caressa, who knocks the song "Come to Your Senses" out of the park.

Hannah Ganzel as Caressa, who knocks the song “Come to Your Senses” out of the park.

tick… tick… BOOM! is a musical written by the late and legendary Jonathan Larson.  It’s a semi-autobiographical story that chronicles his struggles as he was trying to make it into the Big Time in New York City.  This musical was originally performed by Larson alone at the piano with a rock band.

Jonathan Larson is much better known for his smashing success, Rent, which he unfortunately did not live to see.  On the morning of its opening night, he died unexpectedly of aortic dissection, which must be somewhat rare because I’ve never heard of it that I can recall.  Strangely, the heart problem is believed to be caused by a rare condition called Marfan Syndrome, which also happens to be the name of the rock band I had when I was in high school in 1969.  The name was the singer’s idea.

Mount Vernon High School’s production of this show was a student-led and -driven activity.  There were 2 student directors, but the cast says they talked everything through and reached a consensus on how the performance should go.  In keeping with the original production, the musical was performed with a rock band and I played bass in the band, along with some fine players.

Brandon Douglas, who thankfully stepped up and led the cast to the studio for putting down their vocals.

Brandon Douglas, who thankfully stepped up and led the cast to the studio for putting down their vocals.

I had expressed an interest in getting a great cast recording of this show and this turned into a request from one of the directors to record backing tracks for the cast to use at festivals.   So that’s how Euphonic Studio got involved with what music follows below.  I performed and recorded all the parts for the last 5 songs of the show for them, and then we decided that we’d do the whole show, so I recorded all of the songs.  We started to get vocals down on them on Friday, March 15, 2013, and I am hoping we can get them all done before this class graduates and dissipates into the world.

I am hoping that we can get the entire cast in to do this.  If not, we have a backup plan, and we still may not get it done.  But I hope you enjoy what I have posted here, and a huge thank you to the cast members for humoring me on this project.  I had a blast working with you during the show, and this is just a fine way to memorialize your terrific talent!







Come to Your Senses
sung by Hannah Ganzel as Caressa

sung by Brandon Douglas as John


  1. Lori Niemi

    Hannah’s performance of this song was a wonderful one. I love her voice! I am so impressed with this show and the performers in it, and I’m thrilled that it will be documented on Euphonic’s website!

    I have heard of aortic dissection one other time, and that is when it caused the death of one of my favorite funny men, John Ritter (famous for his role on Three’s Company among other things, one of which was being the son of Tex Ritter). John died suddenly September 12, 2003 after falling ill on the set of his new sitcom. I have missed him, and I always will.

    Jonathan Larson gave the world wonderful gifts of his music, and I am delighted to watch Hannah and the other cast members bring this music to life, thereby keeping Jonathan alive in our hearts.

  2. Lori Niemi

    Brandon did a great job on the song Why?

    I have had the pleasure of seeing Brandon perform in several events at MVHS. His versatility is amazing! All I can say is that this young man has a bright future ahead of him. It will be fun to watch him from afar as he continues down his life path. It’s my hope that the young friends we have made through studio involvement with MVHS will continue to stay in touch with us throughout the years. You bring excitement into our lives!

  3. Richard A Douglas

    Most kind, and I have no doubt Brandon was glad to be a part of accomplishing that goal. We have had the pleasure of “hosting” such a talent all these years, yet ironically because he is sought after so much, and involved in so many activities, especially in his latter youth, have not had as much quality time with him as was our desire. Ah well. Many thanks to Euphonic Studio for being another class organization with which Brandon feels privileged to be associated, and of course Bill (who sets him up technically) and Lori (who no doubt feeds him time-to-time :). RAD

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