Playing Where’s Waldo with the new Andrew Garfield film, Tick, Tick … BOOM!

Posted on January 27, 2022

Tick, Tick … BOOM! Lin-Manuel Miranda, has done it again. As a playwright and actor, Miranda’s work in Hamilton was wildly successful and well-loved. But it’s not only the stage he has a knack for, because now that he has moved to the big screen in his directorial debut, he once again has blown people away. As I watched this film for the first time, I was immediately drawn to Andrew Garfield’s singing voice and stage presence. But the thing I loved most about this film was the way Miranda chose to portray Jonathan Larson’s story onscreen by adapting one of Larson’s actual plays and including familiar faces from the theater industry and Larson’s real life. 

For anyone who may not know, the film Tick Tick… Boom! is based on a play by the same name written by American composer and playwright Jonathan Larson, who is best known for the musical Rent. Larson tragically passed away in 1996 before the debut of Rent which went on to win a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Thus this film allowed for a tribute to the talented Jonathan Larson’s passion for his art. 

Not only was this film a beautiful tribute to Larson, but it was also filled with hidden moments and faces that relate back to the theater community.

Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly

I first noticed this when watching the diner scene featuring the song “Sunday”. Throughout this scene, there are many familiar faces. First of course was the director Lin-Manuel Miranda himself, but as the scene progressed I also recognized Phillipa Soo and Renée Elise Goldsberry who both had roles in Hamilton. I then went on to learn of the many other actors best known for their work in the theater. So here is a quick list of a few of the theater actors who made notable appearances in the “Sunday” number. 

1. Lin-Manuel Miranda

Image Credit: Elle & Slate

Director of Tik, Tik …Boom! And best known for his work on Hamilton.

2. Phillipa Soo and Renée Elise Goldsberry

Image Credit: Vox & No Spoiler

Both had roles in Hamilton as Eliza Hamilton and Angelica Schuyler. 

3. Howard McGillin

Image Credit: & Slate

Best known for his role as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.

4. Chuck Cooper

Image Credit: Playbill & Slate

Best known for his performance as Memphis in the musical The Life.

5. André De Shields

Image Credit: Pinterest & Screen Rant

Best known for his role as Hermes in the musical Hadestown. 


These 6 actor cameos are only a few of the many recognizable faces not only in this scene but also throughout the entirety of this film. So for anyone who has a love for theater, Tik, Tik … Boom! is not only a wonderful movie, but a fun opportunity to play Where’s Waldo with talents from the theater world. 

To find a more comprehensive list of all the easter eggs in Tik, Tik … Boom! Check out this article by Buzzzfeed:

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