Jagged Little Pill

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Jagged Little Pill

Elizabeth Stanley and Celia Rose Gooding

Jagged Little Pill, with music by  songwriter Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, and lyrics by Morissette, is a new musical that grows on you.

At first, when I saw the opening number, I was extremely skeptical and unsure that this would be my cup of tea. But in time, and especially during the second act, I grew to embrace the show,  the themes and the depth that was uncovered.

Jagged Little Pill is about family dysfunction, and the quest for all of us to be heard, understood and accepted for who we are. Period.

The plot lines are extremely dense, with many stories criss-crossing at once. The story is kind of messy, but so is life. With book by Diablo Cody, the plots all come together because they are all ultimately related. Directed by Diane Paulus, this story is inspired by Morissette’s grammy-winning album. Morissette’s songs are quite poetic and really work well with the characters.

Jagged Little Pill

Jo Patten and cast

The Jagged Little Pill cast are all really, really good. We feel their  characters’  pain and angst and the lyrics support this valiantly.

To give an overview, a family from Connecticut, beautiful people with beautiful lives, are not so beautiful after all. The adopted daughter, Frankie, who is African-American, feels alienated, the son, Nick (gorgeous Derek Klena) who is always successful, feels incredible pressure to constantly deliver, the father, Steve (Sean Allan Krill) is under pressure to earn a living and yearns for an intimate relationship with his wife, Mary Jane (Elizabeth Stanley) who is completely unavailable and we learn, addicted to pain killers, driving her husband to be addicted to porn.

Along the way, Frankie engages in a relationship with a girl, and then is smitten by a boy. The friend of their over-achieving son assaults a girl at a party and Nick witnesses the assault.

Life, after all is not perfect, And in fact, is incredibly flawed.

That is the overriding theme of Jagged Little Pill. In the end, you feel completely normal.

Outstanding performances by Celia Rose Gooding as Frankie, Lauren Patten as Jo, Frankie’s girlfriend, and Elizabeth Stanley as Mary Jane Healy, the mother.

Jagged Little Pill is definitely worth checking out. https://jaggedlittlepill.com

Jagged Little Pill

For more theatre news, information and interviews, join me Saturday mornings from 9-10 on WNYM-AM radio for “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone.” Also available on podcast

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