Sep 27th, 2018
Please Note: This review was written about the original off-Broadway production.
Fun Fact: SQUIP is short for Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor. Obviously.
Target Audience: Younger audiences will lap this up. It's quirky and fun and leaves you with a great life lesson.
As life becomes more frantic and our online connections infinite, it's a no brainer we have a rise in anxiety levels among the youth, an increase in online bullying, and a never-ending obsession to try the "next best thing". Be More Chill, the hit musical inspired by Ned Vizzini's novel, explores the idea of solving your nerdiness with a pill. Take a chill pill and all will be good - you just have to surrender your authentic self and impulses to the voice inside your head that calculates algorithms to ensure you respond correctly for an optimal result. Seems reasonable?
Joe Tracz (Book) and Joe Iconis (Music and Lyrics) have submerged classic high school characters in the present day with mirrors held up to the classic Romeo-Juliet forbidden love, TV-games and the enduring challenge to beat your (and your partners) high score, estranged relationships with parents, friendship, and of course the thrilling and frightening world of social media. All of this seems current and normal for these teens except for the addition of a pill to solve their worries. I suppose that's not entirely far-fetched given the easy access to medication and drugs nowadays, but this pill is different. It does not allow you an escape to feel good for a brief moment in time but rather trains you to "be more chill" in your current reality. The pill releases a SQUIP which guides you to make the right choices to ensure you are "chill" aka cool. Jeremy who is just an average loser (by high school standards) trying to survive through to college, where his BFF Michael assures him that guys like them are cool! Jeremy however has his heart set on Christine and college seems like a million light years away, so he needs to act now, and get his own Squip!
The Squip is the polar opposite to Jeremy and he has a simple task, get the nerdy kid the girl. However The Squip seems to throw everything upside down when the popular kids decide to join the theatre club, and the entire high school system starts to crumble. So, what happens when the algorithms shift and humanity challenges technology? Well, you'll have to find out.
This new musical is creating waves as it challenges the idea of who (and what) influences us. High school might put you in boxes and give you titles but unless we take ownership of who we want to be we will be swept away by an entirely new and frightening addiction and hierarchy that exists outside hallways and locker rooms.
Really what they are trying to say is Be More Christine... go and see the show and you'll know what I mean. She's the best!
View our show pages for more information about Be More Chill, Lyceum Theater.
Sound good to you? Share this page on social media and let your friends know about it.
I want email news and updates for events in my area! Read how we protect your data.