I went to New York City back in January and saw a musical called “Jagged Little Pill”. Everyone knows the famous Canadian artist Alanis Morissette and her hit album Jagged Little Pill. Well, they turned that album into a musical. Can I just say… it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It was a very last-minute decision to go see this show, but I’m glad I did because on October 15, 2020, Jagged Little Pill received 15 Tony Award nominations, including “best musical”.
This musical has nothing to do with Alanis’s life. It’s a whole new story. It’s about this family of four (The Healy’s), a son who just got into Harvard, a daughter who is black, adopted and doesn’t feel included in the family, a father who doesn’t stop working, and a mother who is addicted to opioids. There’s also a girl who gets raped at a party, and a lesbian who is dating the daughter of the other family. The daughter then finds a boy in her class that she is attracted to. This story is about how all their stories connect.
Overall, this is one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen. It didn’t have a great review from my friend so I went in with low expectations. I have loved Alanis’s music from a young age, so I was very curious of how they would transform this album to the stage.
The story line was very clever. They combined different issues in one, as well as place impactful music on top. The powerful message behind each song was breathtaking. Not a lot of people really listen to the meaning behind a song, but when you can physically see it, it helps. Even though this show isn’t about Alanis’s life, you get to experience a deeper meaning into the lyrics.
The show covers a lot of issues; sexual assault, addiction, sexuality and more. These issues are real and happening around us today. The writer of Jagged Little Pill Diablo Cody, took all the issues of today and combined them in a jukebox musical which was so clever and capturing. When going to the theatre knowing you are going to hear a hit album, you don’t expect to watch something so heavy; at least I didn’t. The topics didn’t stop me from enjoying it, though.
There is a rally scene where people stand up to be heard, saying “#metoo”, “rape effects all genders” and more. It was so compelling to see. This musical speaks to a large audience. They have viewers that are young teens who are going because they simply like theatre or the stars who are in it. There are viewers who are in their 50s and were just becoming adults when this album came out. Some seniors are going to the show because they just want to get out and watch something entertaining. These issues need to get out and be heard. I think this musical is achieving just that, by hitting a wide demographic.
The show is about standing up for what you believe in and being yourself. It spreads awareness to a lot of issues by also coupling it with fascinating music. This musical really inspired me. I think it could change a lot of issues we are having today. I think this musical deserves to win, “best musical”, as well as the other categories they were nominated for. This is by far my favourite musical!