Review by BONNIE J. GORDONLos Alamos Daily Postbjgordonladailypost.com“Tick, Tick…Boom!” at LALT stole my heart. I wasn’t really expecting it. The tragic story of the death at age 35, of author-composer-lyricist writer Jonathan Larson made me a little scared of this autobiographical musical dramedy, written before the astounding success of “Rent”. Would it all be tinged with the foreknowledge of what would happen when the story ends? I was also leery it would be a story about the self-absorbed angst of creative gen-X souls from relatively privileged backgrounds. (Okay Bonnie, lighten up.) “Tick, Tick…Boom!” is these things, but it’s a whole lot more. This sprightly production, directed and starred in by Tim Orcutt got me thinking (and singing and dancing).“Tick, Tick…Boom!” is the story of Jon (Orcutt) a would-be theater composer who has been toiling on his master work, Superbia, for five years. Supporting himself as a waiter, he sees his friends moving past him to make the compromises they feel are demanded of them. His best friend Michael (Patrick MacDonald) leaves acting to become an advertising mogul. His girlfriend Susan (Christine Armenion) wants to move to New England and get out of New York to have a real life with a future. On the verge of turning 30, Jon asks himself if he should continue pursuing his dream to be the next Stephen Sondheim, or is he fooling himself about his chances for success.On a bare stage, the three actors are joined by four musicians: Yelena Mealy on keyboard, Nick Denissen on guitar, David Rogers, and Wes Hicks alternating on electric bass and Omar Wooten on drums. The role of musical director is being shared between Brian Huysman and Denissen.It’s the music that makes this show. Those who have seen “Rent” know what to expect from songs—witty, catchy, heartfelt. The three actors all have the strong voices needed to carry off a show that’s about 80 percent musical. The times when the three voices blend while singing different lyrics are especially sweet.The acting talent on stage is in no short supply. MacDonald and Armenion are terrific in their supporting roles. Armenion’s Susan is warm and spunky. MacDonald is high energy, but touches the heart. Representing the choices Jon is rejecting to follow his dream, they could have been portrayed as shallow. The actors give them depth and legitimacy.Orcutt, like Larson himself, is starring on stage and backstage as main character and director. (The play was originally a Larson one-man show.) He fills both roles admirably. The interaction of the characters comes off well and the pace is just right. As Jon, he presents a highly talented, frenetic, somewhat self-absorbed man who manages to be a stand-in for all of us. Standing on the brink of life-altering choices, Jon is anyone making the hard choices life presents, and Orcutt is the one that takes us there.Sound by Nancy Coombs and Paul Lewis worked well for me in the front row. I overheard some from further back say they couldn’t always make out the lyrics over the band, but I experienced a good blending of voice and instruments.The play is by turns hilarious, heart wrenching and uplifting. It’s done by a great group of actors, musicians and production crew. Everyone over the age of, say 13, will enjoy it. There’s a bit of R-rated dialogue, but not much. Whatever life-choices you’re making, the play will resonate. You’ll love the music. You’ll leave the theater delighted you came.Tickets for “Tick, Tick…Boom!” are $15 for are $13 for seniors and students $13) at C.B. Fox, Bliss, online at Brown Paper Tickets and at the door.The play continues at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There is a special Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. today.The Los Alamos Little Theater is at 1670 Nectar St. Jon (Tim Orcutt) and Michael (Patrick MacDonald) get down during a musical number in ‘Tick,Tick…Boom’. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, plans to invite bidders for the cell preparation project at the Pointe Mouillee Confined Disposal Facility.This development program, located near Rockwood, Michigan, will involve earthwork services for fill management and drainage improvement in cells 1 and 2.The total value of this contract will be between $250,000 and $500,000, and all interested parties should submit their offers no later than April 18, 2014.More info [mappress]Source: fbo.gov, April 7, 2014
“The inability to enact crew changes is a threat to the mental health of seafarers. They can’t stay at sea indefinitely. “Even if Covid-19 infections subside, which we all hope they will do, putting a plan in place now will be good preparation for the future.” Synergy Group crew are briefed on coronavirus preparations before arrival at the port “We have already spoken to a number of leading ship owners and they agree this is a positive way forward,” he said. “We have also identified a number of ports where we think this can be actioned. Synergy’s seafarers are fully trained on coronavirus avoidance measures “Seafarers returning home would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, of course. And those joining ships would need to pass a mandatory medical, including a Covid-19 test. However, as a number of organisations including Human Rights at Sea and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have made clear in recent days, the closure of borders and strict quarantine rules are preventing crew changes from being completed in accordance with employment contracts and international conventions including the Maritime Labour Convention. The upshot is that thousands of seafarers are now stuck on ships unable to return home. Moreover, for those stranded at sea, conditions are deteriorating rapidly. In any given month around 100,000 seafarers reach the end of their employment contracts and are repatriated, according to ICS. “In many ports crew changes are simply prohibited,” said Captain Unni. “Elsewhere, vessels from some origins are now forced to remain at anchorage in quarantine for up to 14 days before they can dock. Author: Baibhav Mishra “To make matters worse, it is also becoming increasingly difficult for crew to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables such are the restrictions placed on port agents and captains. The organisation of collective crew changes at key hub ports by ship managers and owners has the potential to solve the seafarer welfare crisis currently threatening global supply chains, believes Captain Rajesh Unni, Founder and CEO of leading Singapore-based ship manager Synergy Group, which employs over 12,000 seafarers on more than 300 vessels. “This is a safety issue and it’s a mental health issue. “And how are seafarers with medical conditions supposed to get treatments if they can’t leave the vessel? “I have heard the argument that seafarers are safest at sea waiting this out. But nobody knows how long this pandemic will last. Doing nothing is not a plan. “We are now approaching leading shipping organisations and have contacted the IMO about how we can move this forward with the utmost haste.” “I believe that collective, carefully managed crew changes at designated ports could help us tackle this crisis,” said Captain Unni. Sea News, March 27 “This is a time bomb,” said Captain Unni. “Even under normal circumstance, seafaring is stressful and involves spending long periods of time away from friends and family. “This also has the potential to disrupt the global supply chains millions are relying on in these terrible times. Seafarers will only put up with this uncertainty and poor treatment for so long, and rightly so. “Seafarers are key workers and they need to be treated with more respect and support. People in any profession should have the right to return home and see their families.” To facilitate the continuation of world trade without interruption and to protect the human rights and mental well-being of seafarers, Captain Unni is now reaching out to like-minded stakeholders to expedite collective crew changes. Captain Unni, CEO & Founder, Synergy Group “Right now, in the midst of a pandemic when of course people are anxious, thousands are stuck at sea or stranded around the world waiting to join vessels but unable to do so. “We all need to come together and find solutions that help our seafarers and protect world trade.” Over 1.6 million seafarers keep the world’s merchant fleet at sea, delivering fuel, medicines, food and equipment to those countries where large portions of the population are currently under curfew as governments try to contain the coronavirus pandemic.