The only time “too much” has not become a negative critique is when people talk about Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” musical. Its choke-hold on theatre fans and critics has never wavered since its inception in 2018, thanks to its beloved songs and relevant themes. Unlike other typical jukebox musicals, this masterpiece has never settled with classic structures and embraced a modern take on an album released in 1995. The show will shine so bright at the heart of Hollywood, coming this September until October at the prestigious Pantages Theatre. If you are looking for an electric spectacle in the City of Angels, come see the “Jagged Little Pill” musical.
“The ensemble is refreshingly diverse, and surging to the choreography of Marc Kimelman and Adam Blanch….” – Alannah Maher, Timeout
“Jagged’s script is clever but not snide, quirky but not unrelatable.” – Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly
“You’d be surprised. “Jagged Little Pill” is no blast-from-the-past jukebox musical but an urgent, rock-driven slice of modern life that tackles nearly every issue of the day: sexual identity, opioid addiction, racial tension, rape.” – Rafer Guzman, Newsday
The release of Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” in 1995 sparked unwanted criticism from her fans, as well as from the rock community. It was described as being 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 the Canadian singer’s magnum opus and has influenced modern rock music.
Its influence has grown so much over the years that the time for its musical adaptation has become apparent in the 2010s. In 2013, news about the musical delighted many fans, and a 2014 workshop was disclosed. Announcements about its world premiere came out in 2017. Finally, 23 years after the album’s release, the “Jagged Little Pill” musical was performed publicly.
Diablo Cody wrote the script for the production, which also features directing by Diane Paulus, choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, stage and costume design by Emily Rebholz and Riccardo Hernandez, lighting by Justin Townsend, and video production by Finn Ross. Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard wrote the song’s melody and lyrics. Bryan Perri oversaw the musical production, Jonathan Deans handled the sound design, and Tom Kitt handled the orchestration. This stellar collaboration was one of the assets of the musical’s success.
“While the best musicals usually aim for a strong central character arc, Jagged Little Pill surpasses this with what can only be described as a catharsis, leaving the audience somewhat drained yet entirely satisfied; the quality of Bassingthwaighte’s performance is a key aspect in this success.” – Simon Harris, Man in Chair
Since Morissette was not able to give rights for the show to be biographical, Cody decided to write about a fictional story that fits with the album track. The story follows a Connecticut family as they go through personal challenges. The characters are MJ, the mom who struggles from addiction caused by pain medicine; Steve, the overworking dad; Nick, the achiever son; and the adopted daughter Frankie, who is slightly rebellious. Without an exact protagonist, the story flows, and transfers with each family member. This also implied that the show is not limited to a single theme, which fluidly changes from character to character.
In its time on Broadway, the show ran from 2019 until 2021. During the 74th Tony Awards in 2020, it garnered the highest nominations with an overall count of 15. The show won 2 statuettes, including “Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical” and “Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical” for the performance of Lauren Patten as Jo Taylor. For the 2020 Drama Desk Awards, Lauren Patten bagged “Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical,” and Tom Kitt achieved “Outstanding Orchestrations.” The show’s presence reached the Grammy Awards in 2021 and won the category for “Best Musical Theater Album.”
“On Broadway, Jagged Little Pill harnesses the hyperemotionalism of its source to shake off the cynicism and formulaic strictures of the typical jukebox musical. Yes, its plot is shaky and contrived, its songs – and there are so, so many of them – histrionic. It seizes on enough hot-button issues – sexual assault, the opioid epidemic, internet addiction, workaholism, misogyny, sex and gender identity, and OK, sure, gun violence, too – to singe the first row. It is, indisputably, too much and that too muchness is what makes it so watchable.” – Alexis Soloski, The Guardian
This musical is coming to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood from September 13 to October 2. A must-see show, you need to watch this to fall in love with its profound and remarkable production. Reserve the date of your choosing by clicking the “Get Tickets” link on this site. Grab your tickets now!