Carmel Community Players ready to set off ‘Tick, Tick … Boom!’


For Dominic Piedmonte, the theme of “Tick, Tick… Boom!” immediately had an impact.

At first, the Indianapolis resident was unfamiliar with Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical.

“A friend told me about the auditions the day before I auditioned, and so I did a deep dive the night before and fell in love with the show immediately,” Larson said. “I was 29 and turned 30 the week after auditions, so I was incredibly connected to what Jonathan was feeling at the time of my audition.”

Piedmonte will play the role of Jon in the Carmel Community Players’ production of the musical Oct. 14 to 23 at The Switch Theatre, 10029 E. 126 St., Fishers. Larson went on create the musical “Rent” before dying of aortic dissection at age 35 the day of the off-Broadway preview in 1996.

Dominic Piedmonte handles a fake bomb in “Tick, Tick… Boom!” (Photo courtesy of Carmel Community Players)

“I really try to capture Jon’s mannerisms in the show, but also a bit of myself since a lot of what this show is talking about is turning 30 and having that feeling of not having done enough with the time that is given to us,” Piedmonte said. “That’s something everyone over 30 has experienced at one time or another.”

The biggest challenge for Piedmonte is mastering the lines.

“I’m on stage the entire time and have several monologues that are tricky in their wording because they are literally the writings of what was going through Jonathan’s head when he encounters the feeling of failure, realizations that the world around him feels dystopian, that everyone around him is so much more successful by the societal standards of the ‘90s,” he said. “Being a musician and artist myself as well as a full-time teacher, time just is something I never have enough of it seems. This show honestly really helped me process through some of the turmoil I was struggling with turning 30, and I really am grateful that I’m given the opportunity to share this wonderful show that Jonathan Larson created.”

Like Piedmonte, Ervin Gainer is performing for Carmel Community Players for the first time. Gainer said what he enjoys about the role is that he can relate to the character in some ways.

“I know what it feels like trying to achieve a dream that just doesn’t pan out in your favor,” said Gainer, who plays Michael. “I know what it feels like to settle for a job that isn’t your dream job/career, but it pays the bills and keeps a roof over your head. I know what it feels like to want love, have a family and be financially secure. Michael wants to live his ‘American dream,’ but it does come with challenges. He is an openly gay male in corporate America who happens to find out that he is HIV positive at a time where folks left and right were dying of AIDS. To most, getting an HIV positive diagnosis meant a death sentence. You could be alive and well one week but gone the next week. That is a major struggle for the character throughout the show and it weighs heavy on his heart. I know how it feels to be openly gay and HIV positive because that is my life. I am thankful that nowadays getting an HIV positive result doesn’t mean a death sentence with all of the HIV medications that are out today.

“I love that this subject matter is touched in the musical. It’s so important. HIV stigma is still alive and well, unfortunately.”

Kathleen Horrigan, a Fishers resident, is directing with CCP for the first time. Horrigan said the biggest challenge is also serving as a director for the Lawrence Central High School play “You Can’t Take it  With You,” which is set for Nov. 11-13. She is the director of theater for Lawrence Central.

“I directed ‘Rent’ in Indianapolis for Footlite Musicals about 10 years ago and became quite a fan of Jonathan Larson,” Horrigan said. “Then my high school students told me about the movie version of ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ and once I watched it, I was hooked then. Then I started reading a book about Jonathan Larson’s life and really wanted to direct it.”

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