NEW YORK CITY —'Be More Chill' is Broadway’s latest hit that got to the Lyceum Theater in such an unconventional way.
The show has a bit of a sci-fi feel—based on a high school student named Jeremy, longing to become popular. So, he swallows a tiny computer, called a Squip, which is really a life coach, helping him excel at becoming popular.
Like I said, it has a very sci-fi feel.
"My initial thought process was I wanted to write something that dealt with weighty issues like anxiety and depression but in a fun way," says Joe Iconis, who wrote the shows music and lyrics.
The show hit a New Jersey theater back in 2015 and frankly panned.
It received less than stellar reviews and shut down.
"After New Jersey, I knew the show as dead," says Iconis. "Unless your show is based on a movie, or has a famous person, you're really at the mercy of the theater gods."
But, after the show shut down, the New Jersey cast still recorded a cast album.
Two years after that, the album picked up steam and then exploded. It's been streamed over 250 million times, making it one of the most streamed musical sound tracks of all time.
With young adults and teenagers posting about the show on social media, demanding it come back to a stage.
So, it did. “Be More Chill”
“l came back off-Broadway to sellout crowds. In fact, they extended the run a week and it sold out in one day," says Iconis. "It's just surreal, it feels like a joke."
And now the once-failed show, is set to open on Broadway March 10th.
Will Roland, a Long Island native, plays Jeremy and sees a huge shift in this specific audience.
"What is so wonderful about our younger audience is that they are bringing a life and vivacity back to the theater," says Roland.
In my humble opinion, the show is a depiction of all of us in high school, reminding us as the show progresses on who we were and who we've become.
There was always a gossip, in this show—that role is played by Tiffany Mann, who has some advice on how to do it so well.
"Best tip of gossip is to be so discreet in how you obtain said gossip," says Mann.
Mann, along with the other cast members say they love hearing from the audience members who got this show here, and how it resonates with them.
"For me, being a plus sized woman, I get a lot of plus sized women saying I see you and thank you," says Mann.
My humble review:
This show is excitingly different for all the right reasons.
It's an extremely fun and different experience than any other Broadway show I have seen. If you have teens or young adults, they will love it. It's fun, energetic and has a cast that is full of life, feeding off the cheers of the audience.
For tickets to "Be More Chill," click here.