REMARKABLY, Tick, Tick…Boom! is not only the second cinematic musical of 2021 for Lin Manuel Miranda, but also for its writer Steven Levenson.

What a good time it is to be a fan of actors randomly bursting into song midway through a scene. We’ve not even had Stephen Spielberg’s take on West Side Story yet.

And yet, perhaps audiences have begun to tire of Hollywood’s musical renaissance? Whereas Miranda’s In the Heights won the critics but flopped at the box office, Levenson’s Dear Evan Hansen won over neither. A Netflix release, Tick, Tick…Boom! will at least escape the pressure to reap financial rewards.

There’s irony there. From the mind of the late playwright Jonathan Larson, Tick, Tick…Boom! tells the story of an aspiring theatre composer who endures a quarter-life crisis as he approaches 30 and does not feel close to his dream. More specifically, this was Larson’s autobiographical ode to the disappointment he himself felt in the wake of the failure of his 1989 adaptation of Orwell’s 1984: Superbia.

Andrew Garfield leads the film, as Larson, and does so with typical umph. Straight Outta Compton’s Alexandra Shipp plays Susan, Jonathan’s girlfriend and a dance teacher to the wealthy and talented. Three time Tony nominee Robin de Jesus, meanwhile, is Michael, Larson’s childhood friend and mirror image.

He has given up on a carer in acting for a more stable and lucrative job in a suit. Joshua Henry and Vanessa Hudgens also feature and there’s a small role for The Handmaid’s Tale’s Bradley Whitfield as musical theatre legend Stephen Sondheim.

In short, Tick, Tick…Boom! is a musical based on a musical that is about writing a musical. The finale is upbeat but reality was less so. As a stage show, Tick, Tick…Boom! took five years to find success, by which point it was already too late for Larson.

Aged just 35, this would be star of musical theatre died of an aortic dissection. More tragic yet, his passing came on the day his most successful production was set to debut. Larson never saw Rent win him a Pulitzer Prize, nor the three Tonys that followed. It went on to become one of Broadway's longest running productions in history.

Rent may be Larson’s best known work but in Tick, Tick…Boom! audiences have the chance to know more of the man who created it.