The musical that reinvented Broadway’s jukebox musicals is back, and it’s making its way to Seattle this fall. Prepare to feel myriads of emotions as you immerse yourself in the chaotic yet poignant world of Jagged Little Pill: The Musical. The exhilarating, fearless new musical based on Alanis Morissette’s monumental music will stop for a series of shows at the Paramount Theatre. Experience love, anger, joy, heartache, catharsis, and all other emotions life has to offer this November 8 – 13. You Oughta Know that this musical will blow your mind and excite you Head Over Feet!
“A big-hearted musical that breaks the mold.” – New York Times
“Jagged Little Pill” is no blast-from-the-past jukebox musical but an urgent, rock-driven slice of modern life….” – Newsday
Winner of “Best Musical Theater Album” in the recent Grammy Awards and nominated for 15 Tony Awards, Jagged Little Pill is an electrifying production about a perfectly imperfect American family: It follows the story of the Healys and their individual struggles. Mary Jane is fighting to hold it together despite appearing to be the perfect mother. She has an opiate addiction and has avoided trauma for a long time. Steve, her spouse, is a workaholic with a pornographic addiction. Nick, their beloved son, is a “perfect child,” yet he is emotionally immature. There is also Frankie, the activist daughter of the family.
There is no single main character; instead, the narrative moves from one family member to the next. This also suggested that the show’s focus shifts naturally from character to character, rather than being confined to a single overarching theme. Through a series of meaningful performances, the musical is able to tackle several societal issues, including misogyny, racism, transracial adoption, transphobia, classism, and disability rights.
Jagged Little Pill first ran from May 5 to July 15, 2018, at the Loeb Drama Center, within the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On Broadway, the musical began previews in November 2019 and debuted to the public on December 5, 2019. Unfortunately, it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic on December 17, 2021. Although the production was only given life in 2018, the musical’s conception dates back to the early 2010s. Exciting details regarding a 2014 workshop for the musical were revealed in 2013, delighting many fans. In 2017, news of its anticipated debut began to circulate. The musical adaptation of Jagged Little Pill premiered in 2015, a full 23 years after the record first hit shelves.
The script was written by Diablo Cody, and the cast and creative team included Diane Paulus as director, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui as choreographer, Emily Rebholz, and Riccardo Hernandez as set and costume designers, Justin Townsend as lighting designer, and Finn Ross as a video producer. Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard wrote the song’s melody and lyrics. The musical production was directed by Bryan Perri, with assistance from Jonathan Deans on sound design and Tom Kitt on orchestration. The musical’s success can be attributed in part to the excellent collaboration of these creatives.
Despite being a relatively new musical, Jagged Little Pill was able to garner awards and nominations from different award-giving bodies. It received the most nominations (15) at the 2020 Tony Awards. Lauren Patten’s portrayal of Jo Taylor earned her two Tony Awards: one for “Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical” and another for “Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.” Lauren Patten won “Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical” at the 2020 Drama Desk Awards, while Tom Kitt won “Outstanding Orchestrations.” In 2021, the play was nominated for a Grammy and took home the trophy for “Best Musical Theater Album.”
“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
If you want to be swept away by one of Broadway’s greatest jukebox musicals, grab your tickets for the Jagged Little Pill’s November 8-13 run at the Paramount Theater Seattle. Click the “Get Tickets” link and prepare for a wild ride. In this musical, you live, you learn, and you remember what it’s like to feel truly human.