Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill musical heads to Broadway

A production of Jagged Little Pill at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A production of Jagged Little Pill at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts.PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK (NYTimes) - Here is some news you oughta know: Jagged Little Pill is coming to Broadway.

Producers said on Monday (Jan 28) that the musical, which uses the song catalogue of Alanis Morissette to confront such contemporary issues as rape culture and addiction, will open next autumn. They did not specify a theatre or a date.

Jagged Little Pill has had one previous production, a sold-out 10-week run last year at the nonprofit American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Masschusetts.

Reviewing the show for The New York Times, critic Jesse Green said it "takes on the good work we are always asking new musicals to do: the work of singing about real things," but added, "if only it didn't sing about all of them all at once."

In the Boston Globe, Christopher Muther expressed similar misgivings about the catalogue of social issues crammed into the plot, but called it "wildly entertaining" and "wickedly funny in just the right places."

The musical features songs written by Morissette and Glen Ballard, many of them from the 1995 album that gives the show its title, and a book by Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter for Juno (2007). Diane Paulus, who is the artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre and a Tony winner for Pippin, is the director.

The cast in Cambridge was led by Elizabeth Stanley and featured a showstopping Lauren Patten in a supporting role; the cast for Broadway has not yet been named.

The musical, with Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price as lead producers, is expected to be capitalised for up to US$14 million (S$18 million), according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The producers said that they expect the final cost to be slightly lower.

In an interview, the producers said the show is being revised somewhat after its last production.

"We were quite happy with the work we did on our original musical, but you can always keep improving, and the changes we have made are many, many little ones that add up to a more streamlined, layered, and deeper show," Price said. "The world has continued to change, and that has affected the writing and the direction."

The producers have been working on the show for nearly nine years, largely because of the complexity of hammering out rights agreements for the songs.

"We wanted to produce something that was not just another Broadway musical, but was true to the legacy of the record," Tiwary said. "We want to be an entertaining musical with messages."