If you’re expecting to see the life story of seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette, “JAGGED LITTLE PILL” is not that musical biopic. Instead, expect something much richer and deeper with a contemporary family drama that addresses the current issues of culture, race, gender, addiction, and sexual identity. And “no means no.” The show opened in 2019 and won two Tony awards based on 15 nominations, the most nominations of any show of the 2019–2020 season.
Inspired by the seminal rock album of the same name from 1995, JAGGED LITTLE PILL The Musical is now playing at Broadway In Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. But it’s only here for a limited engagement, now through April 23.
The musical is an eclectic blend of powerful and dramatic storytelling that puts the Healy family front and center, perhaps referring to “Healy” as in healing. The four main characters include the “perfect suburban mom” Mary Jane as the backbone of the family who after being hurt in a car accident is now hooked on painkillers. Also suffering is dad Steve Healy, a workaholic putting in 60 hours a week with no time left for family. Perfect son Nick just got into Harvard but has angst and doubts of his own. Adopted daughter Frankie who is African American and bi-sexual questions her own identity while feeling that her family is letting her down.
In between is high-energy dancing and classic Morissette tunes that tear the house down. You can hear the audience singing along, knowing every word.
Popular tunes include: “Ironic,” “You Oughta Know,” “Hand In My Pocket,” “You Learn” and “Head Over Feet.”
The show stars Heidi Blickenstaff, reprising her role from the Broadway production as Mary Jane Healy. She is outstanding, conveying a range of emotions with a powerhouse voice that is simply over the top. She is joined by Lauren Chanel as Frankie Healy who emerges from this family drama stronger than ever. Chris Hoch plays the downtrodden Steve Healy and Dillon Klena plays the successful student, Nick Healy. What you slowly come to discover is that each of the characters is on their own personal journey, clawing their way to redemption.
The cast also includes Jade McLeod as Joanne whose vocals are stellar and Allison Sheppard as Bella who must go from happy and carefree to sullen and withdrawn. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus with an original story by Tony and Academy Award-winning writer Diablo Cody from Juno, this American family is imperfectly perfect.
The show features explosive choreography by Tony Award nominee and frequent Beyoncé collaborator, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Twenty-five years after its release, Jagged Little Pill continues to be one of the Top 20 Best-Selling Albums of All Time. Go see it now and enjoy a whole new way to experience Morissette’s music.
For tickets, go to broadwayinchicago.com/show/jagged-little-pill
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