Alanis Morrissette’s musicality has become an emblem for many people, especially women. The power she holds is undeniable, and her influence is evident among music lovers of different generations. A word you can definitely associate with her songs is “firecracker.” This is because of how much energy and rawness they have. Like a firecracker, her music is an explosion of feelings and musical mastery. This is particularly apparent with her album Jagged Little Pill. Twenty-seven years since Jagged Little Pill became a legend, a musical of the same name reignites the fierceness that was first felt from its release. Jagged Little Pill, the musical brings back the feels of the album and, at the same time, makes its effect new. Everything you want to get from a musical is tightly packed in this musical. That is why grab the chance to see this marvelous musical in select theaters near you.
“Redemptive, rousing and real, JAGGED LITTLE PILL stands alongside the original musicals that have sustained the best hopes of Broadway.” — The New York Times
“Electrifying, visceral and stunning.” — The Hollywood Reporter
Although the release of Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” in 1995 sparked unwanted criticism from her fans and the rock community, the album became career-defining for the Canadian singer. Critics had commented about the album’s songs that are too emotional when it was being honest. Something that is being praised now in recently released albums. Despite the dissatisfying reception, the album is recognized as a magnum opus and has influenced modern rock music. To date, the album is certified 16 times platinum (in the US alone) and has sold over 30,000,000 records worldwide.
Over the years, the album’s popularity has grown exponentially. Thus, it didn’t take long for the idea of a musical based on it to materialize. There have been unconfirmed stories of the musical adaptation since the early 2010s. However, it was only confirmed in 2013, delighting many fans worldwide. The workshop for the musical was made public in 2014, and the announcements of its world premiere came out three years later, in 2017. Finally, 23 years after the album’s release, the “Jagged Little Pill” musical made its way to Broadway!
“… given Morissette’s empowering lyrics, in this #MeToo era, the entire show becomes a moving anthem of our time.”
— Romma Torre, NY1
For years, Morissette worked hard to realize the musical. She wanted a story created out of it, not about her. However, bringing Jagged Little Pill to the stage was challenging. This was the task Diablo Cody took upon herself, writing the musical’s book. “I had never written a play before, let alone a book for a Broadway musical. It was daunting, but occasionally you get those gut feelings that you have to trust, and I just had a pull toward this project,” she said in an interview with Vulture. With the guidance of Morisette and the production team, the musical was made successful entirely.
The musical is directed by Diane Paulus, with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui providing the choreography, Emily Rebholz and Riccardo Hernandez creating the set and costumes, Justin Townsend handling the lighting, and Finn Ross handling the video production. Alanis Morissette herself worked with Glenn Ballard in co-writing the songs’ lyrics and melody. The orchestration was handled by Tom Kitt, Jonathan Deans handled the sound design, and Bryan Perri directed the musical production.
The narrative follows a Connecticut family as they face hardships on a personal level. They appear to be a happy, typical family. However, as the story unfolds, you will learn their actual thoughts and experiences. The main characters are MJ, the mother who battles a painkiller addiction; Steve, the overworked father; Nick, the son who excels academically; and Frankie, the adoptive daughter who is a little rebellious.
The story created by Cody exhibits the relevant struggles of modern families. Without a clear protagonist, the narrative moves and changes with each member of the family. This emphasized that the show’s themes are flexible and fluctuate from character to character rather than being constrained to a single concept.
The show’s Broadway run lasted from 2019 until 2021. With a total of 15, it received the most nominations for the 74th Tony Awards in 2020. The production received two statuettes for Lauren Patten’s portrayal of Jo Taylor, including Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. Lauren Patten won Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical at the 2020 Drama Desk Awards, and Tom Kitt won Outstanding Orchestrations. The show’s influence was felt at the 2021 Grammy Awards, where it won Best Musical Theater Album.
“Morissette’s youthful perspective and the rocking-good score make Jagged Little Pill feel very much of the moment.” — Marilyn Stasio, Variety
Despite the short run on Broadway, Jagged Little Pill has inspired many productions. In December 2021, an Australian production premiered. On the other hand, a West End production will be opening in November of this year, comprising some Broadway crew members.
Experience this musical at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco, California. Opening nights will already be on October 11 and will close on November 6. A stellar cast consisting of Kathryn Gallagher as Bella, Celia Rose Gooding as Frankie Healy, Derek Klena as Nick Healy, Sean Allan Krill as Steve Healy, Lauren Patten as Jo, and Elizabeth Stanley as Mary Jane Healy will be immersing you into this powerful musical. Select the date of your choice and get your tickets now!