She’s here to remind you: Alanis Morissette’s ’90s cultural touchstone Jagged Little Pill is heading to Broadway. The new musical, inspired by the themes of Morissette’s album of the same title but with an original story by Juno writer Diablo Cody, is set to open in the fall. Diane Paulus (Waitress) will direct.
The musical — with songs from the catalog of Morissette, who does not appear onstage — premiered in a sold-out engagement last summer at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA. Casting for the Broadway production was not announced, nor was a theater or premiere date.
The Broadway staging was announced today by producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price.
In addition to Cody and Paulus, the creative team will include music by Morissette and Glen Ballard, with lyrics by Morissette. Movement direction and choreography is by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (the choreographer behind Beyoncé’s performance at the 2017 Grammys), with musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt, Pulitzer Prize winner for Next to Normal.
Atlantic Records will partner with the production for an original Broadway cast recording. Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill album was released in 1995, and quickly gave rise to the singer-songwriter’s biggest hit, “You Oughta Know.”
“This process, and what this process has yielded artistically and collaboratively, has been nothing short of a revelation, a balm and an arrival for me,” said Morissette (read her full statement below). “It is a culmination of so much of what my life’s work has been oriented toward. To work with Diablo Cody, whose heart is as open as her mind is bright and brave, has taken this record – which has meant so much to me – to a whole other level of depth, meaning and natural activism.”
The musical tells the story of the Healys, a suburban family whose surface perfection hides darker truths. Per the production: When “the cracks beneath the surface begin to show, they must choose between maintaining the veneer, or defiantly facing truths about themselves and the world around them.”
“Jagged Little Pill is more than a show, it is a movement,” said Paulus. “We have become a company — all the creatives and the cast — dedicated to what this album stands for. At the A.R.T., we had never seen a response as massive as this before — people camping out overnight to get tickets, traveling from all over the world, changing plans to see the show again. There was a visceral energy every night in the theater of audience wanting to live inside our story and the music of this iconic album.”
“I could not be more thrilled to be making my Broadway debut with the support of this incredible team and of course, my hero, Alanis Morissette,” said Cody. “Writing Jagged Little Pill has been the most fulfilling and emotional creative experience of my life, and I am so excited to share it with as many people as possible.”
In a joint statement, lead producers Tiwary, David and Price said: “Jagged Little Pill was the soundtrack to our youth, so it’s a dream come true to bring this beautiful, galvanizing story to the Broadway stage. Twenty-four years ago, Alanis Morissette struck a deep emotional chord across the world, encouraging everyone to wake up to the difficult truths in our lives, be heard, and be seen. We’re honored to continue the legacy of Alanis’ masterpiece by shepherding a brilliant team of creative minds and shaping Jagged Little Pill into an essential and relevant Broadway musical – one that speaks to modern times and everyone in it – the insider, the outsider, and those in between.”
Rounding out the creative team are scenic designer Riccardo Hernandez; costume designer Emily Rebholz; lighting designer Justin Townsend; sound designer Jonathan Deans; and video & projection designer Finn Ross. The production features additional music by Mike Farrell & Guy Sigsworth.
Here is Morissette’s full statement:
This process, and what this process has yielded artistically and collaboratively, has been nothing short of a revelation, a balm and an arrival for me. It is a culmination of so much of what my life’s work has been oriented toward. To work with Diablo Cody, whose heart is as open as her mind is bright and brave, has taken this record – which has meant so much to me – to a whole other level of depth, meaning and natural activism. Touching on topics that keep me up at night for how deeply I care about them, Diablo’s at once fierce, sensitive and hilarious voice—and her willingness to stay and deepen the course through this journey of creation has been one of the greatest gifts of my life to behold. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s ability to allow these strong and agile bodies and movement to animate and tell this story on visual, spatial, somatic and heart-gripping visceral levels is unlike anything I have ever seen. Tom Kitt’s multi-layered and seemingly effortless weaving together of the musical tapestry of these songs that range from tiny and pin-drop subtle to a kaleidoscope of blended honorings and re- interpretations, leave me with chills and tears. All of this, with Diane Paulus as our fearless visionary and leader. Diane’s searing intelligence and her capacity to hold the complexity as well as the stillness, and her ability to see the big picture of what this story represents to so many of us, has allowed for her leadership to bring us into a level of profundity and service that we were both deeply moved and cracked open by. The entire team is the dream-come-true collaboration. A relational system of slam dunks, and a community of people who each care in a way that marks each person’s unique and powerful contribution. Grateful does not even come close to how I feel throughout this journey thus far. This process is tinged with giddiness, terror, surrender, wild passion, joy and light.
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