MetroStage has a winner

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If youve ever dreaded the big 3-0, 4-0, or any other of lifes many milestones, youll fall in love with tick, tick BOOM!, the exciting Jonathan Larson musical now playing at MetroStage Theater in Alexandria.

Written before his 1996 Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent, Boom! is an autobiographical look at Larsons life in the week leading up to his 30th birthday.

Originally performed as a one-man show in 1990, Boom! was reworked after Larsons death by his friend David Auburn, himself a Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner for Proof.

Now with a cast of three, Boom! introduces the audience to Jon, a struggling young New York composer whose imminent 30th birthday forces him to reassess his career choice as well as his relationships with his girlfriend Susan and best friend Michael.

Making his MetroStage debut as Jon is the multitalented Stephen Gregory Smith, who plays the conflicted artist role to perfection.

A Helen Hayes Best Supporting Actor Award winner for 110 in the Shade at Signature Theatre in 2004, Smith combines a polished dramatic performance with wide-ranging vocals to pull the audience into his soul-searching plight.

The extraordinary Felicia Curry returns to MetroStage as Jons girlfriend Susan, a dancer ready to leave the city and settle down to raise a family.

Currys versatility shines as she instantly transitions between several roles, and her powerhouse vocals continue to amaze and awe each time the two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee steps onstage.

Also new to MetroStage is Matt Pearson in the role of Michael, Jons best friend who gave up acting for a more financially secure career in advertising.

Like Curry, Pearson effortlessly takes on several smaller vignette roles to Smiths singular and struggling Jon.

Using the original vocal arrangements and orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, Musical Director and keyboardist Derek Bowley magically combines the talents of Smith, Curry and Pearson to create a rock opera masterpiece.

With virtually every song a showstopper, particular stand outs are the recurring theme of 30/90 (Larsons original title of the show), the clever argument-in-song Therapy, and the Curry showcase Come to Your Senses.

Director Matthew Gardiner takes on the additional role of choreographer for this production and is faultless in both.

In Boom!, Larson has crafted a far more witty and lighthearted look at the world of struggling artists with songs that will have you tapping your feet and whistling the tunes long after you leave the theater.

From the opening sound of a ticking clock to the final curtain call, Boom! will have you laughing out loud, singing for days and wanting to come back for more.

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