Alanis Morissette's Jukebox Musical Takes Broadway
Following its critically acclaimed 2018 American Repertory Theater world premiere run in Massachusetts, Jagged Little Pill is now on Broadway! Praised for breaking the jukebox musical mold, the thrilling pop-rock tuner draws from the music and themes of seven-time Grammy Award-winning indie icon Alanis Morissette's 1995 seminal album of the same name, also including subsequent releases and even two specially written new songs!
Its star-studded creative team doesn't stop there. With a book by Oscar winner Diablo Cody, the writer behind the Ellen Page-led smash hit feature film Juno, and direction by Tony winning theater maker Diane Paulus (Finding Neverland, Pippin and Waitress), Jagged Little Pill was never going to be run-of-the-mill musical theater fare. In songs like 'You Aughta Know' and 'Ironic', Morisette's daredevil melodies, suggestive lyrics and artistic fearlessness wrap around universal themes of pain, healing and empowerment, balancing emotional depth, heavy-hitting moments and black comedy with cathartic song-and-dance numbers to stunning effect.
What Is Jagged Little Pill About?
The story follows a family on the brink. Seemingly happy on the surface, each of the wealthy Healy family's members hide their own dark secret. Matriarch Mary Jane keeps her emotional trauma and relationship with her husband Steve at bay by popping pills, whilst he deals with their lack of connection and pressures of work with an addiction to porn. Their overachiever son Nick's moral compass goes awry when his best friend is accused of rape and their adopted daughter Frankie struggles with racial and identity politics whilst coming to terms with her blossoming sexuality.
As their struggles entangle, the family's blatant denial of their problems, save for the rebellious wild child Frankie who rails against them in short sorts and protest picketing, begin to mirror the denial of their community at large when it comes to rape culture, addiction and self-expression. For all its topical turmoil, Jagged Little Pill brings as much heart to proceedings. It's bold, arena-sized storytelling, nuanced characterizations and Morissette's alt-rock wisdom are immediately refreshing and make for compelling theater.