As the music swelled Monday at Outré Theatre Company’s concert production of tick…tick…BOOM!,  a thought kept interfering with my becoming completely lost in Jonathan Larson’s chamber musical.

There’s hope.

Admit it, we’ve all been fighting off a pessimistic depression with the collapse of Florida Stage, the graceful exit of Promethean Theatre, the hiatus of Rising Action, Women’s Theatre Project and Naked Stage, and the limbo of the Caldwell Theatre.

But the past week of theatergoing in South Florida has provided several vital signs that our Fabulous Invalid shouldn’t be placed on the critical list, just kept under observation.

Exhibit one: Monday’s night fundraiser for Outré, a tiny company founded by Skye Whitcomb and Nori Tecosky who have the ridiculous belief that someone can start a theater company in this economy amid declining attendance, evaporating government support and miniscule patron donations.

Their moving edition of Larson’s pre-Rent tale of young people pursuing their artistic dreams forced you to admit that if they can pull off such a smooth, assured and no-excuses production, maybe it’s the doubters who should be hedging their bets.

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