New in 2019 A new musical that tells the story of an average teenager who takes a pill purported to make people more...chill.
From the producers: "Be More Chill" is the coolest new musical about being a loser. What if popularity came in a pill? Would you take it, no questions asked? In "Be More Chill," achieving the “perfect life” is now possible thanks to some mysterious new technology—but it comes at a cost that’s not as easy to swallow. What could possibly go wrong? Blending the contemporary with retro sci-fi, this thrillingly exciting, comically subversive, and deeply felt new musical takes on the competing voices in all of our heads. And ultimately proves, there’s never been a better time in history to be yourself - especially if you’re a loser...geek...or whatever.
"Be More Chill" is based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini. Composer Joe Iconis is a recipient of the 2006 Jonathan Larson Award and the 2007 Ed Kleban Award. He has written musicals and cabaret-style pieces, including "Plastic! The Musical" and "Triumphant Baby!" Author Joe Tracz is a 2017 Drama Desk winner for "The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical." Following a world premiere at Two River Theater in New Jersey in 2015, "Be More Chill" readily amassed a cult following online for three years, leading to a commercial Off-Broadway debut at the Pershing Square Signature Center in the summer of 2018.
Before arriving in New York, "Be More Chill" had already amassed an unprecedented following across various online platforms, with millions of fans from Brazil to Japan to New Jersey sharing fan art, streaming the album (over 170 million streams to date), and talking about the show. In 2017, Tumblr ranked "Be More Chill" as the #2 most talked-about musical on their platform, following "Hamilton."
It's fine that the show's arc is predictable...the problem is that those stakes still never feel high enough, and the show is the exact opposite of chill throughout. Everything bursts with a relentless OMG-level of intensity. When everything is so heightened, it's hard for anything to stand out. Despite that perma-frenzied tone and the musical's underwhelming book...[the] pop-rock songs are catchy and the show channels the angst and insecurities many young people experience, particularly in this social-media-driven age.
Tenaciously enjoyable...the production, the music, [the] ebullient choreography, and the truly fine cast - no weak link - make the journey a full-on treat. In the upgraded "Be More Chill," every cast member, from star to secondary, gets a chance to shine, and shine they do. For all of its storyline predictability and maybe too-happy-resolutions, [the] book and, especially, [the] lyrics don't flinch from the darkness and panic of the teenage mind. As bouncy and silly and fanciful as "Be More Chill" can get, it rarely talks down to its audiences.