Jagged Little Pill / our review
Edgy energetic INSPIRING
Nov 23rd, 2019
The music of Alanis Morissette comes to life!
Fun Fact: Alanis Morissette gifted the cast members with a necklace, each with a jagged little pill.
Target Audience: A younger audience will appreciate this show and relate to the many frustrations and struggles of life, and hopefully be inspired to be a part of the change.
Best Bit:Lauren Patten (Jo) is pure power on this stage as she captures the sound of Morissette while making it her own. She received a standing ovation for her performance of "You Oughta Know".
Morning After Effect: Perhaps an overdose of issues being tackled in one production but a fun ride with an amazing soundtrack!
If you thought you were an Alanis Morissette fan, cue Diablo Cody (Book) making her Broadway debut with Jagged Little Pill. The production features songs by Morissette's much loved Grammy-winning album plus a few new tracks, however, the storyline has little to do with the pop star. Instead, Academy Award winning writer Diablo Cody (Juno) utilizes the angst and anger in the album for her narrative about the Healys, a Connecticut based family who seem to be all peaches and cream but below the surface loom dark secrets and pain.
The Healys seem to have it all - a successful dad, a highly committed mom, an all-American son, and their adopted African-American daughter; however, when a rape incident at school sets this family ablaze Cody reveals that what we may present to the world isn't always truthful. Daughter Frankie (Celia Rose Gooding) struggles to find her identity in the all-white neighborhood and explores her sexuality and strength. She uses her rebellious voice to organize rallies to raise awareness for those in need - a desperate cry to be seen and understood herself. Brother Nick (Derek Klena) has the good boy approach and, having been accepted to a top college, has his whole life has been mapped out for him. Mary Jane (Elizabeth Stanley) works hard to keep her family together and stay on top of everything, she takes care of everyone except herself. Keeping this lifestyle afloat is work-a-holic husband and father Steve (Sean Allan Krill), who craves affection and to be seen as more than just the bill payer.
I guess Cody is saying "You Oughta Know", you oughta know that no matter how life may appear on the surface people are going through hard times and if we can all be more open and honest with ourselves, our family and our community life could be a whole lot better.
The choreography (Sidi Larbi Cherkaqui) is edgy, electric and at times chaotic it's the pulse of the youth and exudes their need to be heard, to express, and to be loud. Cherkaqui also highlights Mary Jane's journey with her opioid addiction beautifully we see the conflict, the pain, the lure and the escape. Dancer Heather Lang (ensemble) and Mary Jane (Elizabeth Stanley) deliver a spin chilling routine!
Jagged Little Pill - it's trippy and the themes and music will loop in your head for days to follow.
View our show pages for more information about Jagged Little Pill, James M. Nederlander Theatre.