Review Round Up: Jagged Little Pill, Broadhurst Theatre

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Broadway’s latest addition…


Variety: ” Paulus directs everyone to their strengths; not since “Rent,” perhaps, has a musical invested so many bravura roles with so much individual life.” 

The Guardian: **** “But the musical, you will quickly discover, isn’t about any one song, story or theme. It’s a mood piece and that mood is largely adolescent. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

Rolling Stone: ” Sure, the production wears its earnestness on its sleeve. But it does it so honestly and openly that I forgive it. It’s like a spoiled teenager you want to throttle for being so self-involved and whiny but can’t quite reject because of its enthusiastic beauty and unspoiled passion.” 

NY Times: “It easily clears the low bar of jukebox success to stand alongside the dark original musicals that have been sustaining the best hopes of Broadway in recent years.” “Still, as harsh as its realities get, Jagged Little Pill, with its we can work it out ethos, doesn’t have the heart to suggest intractable, long-term consequences for its tribulations, moving to the inevitable year-later Christmas letter that contains an improbably tidy ending for the family and all of its skeletons.”

New York Post: ** “The stage is jam-packed with talent, but they’re propping up an after-school special. That’s disappointing from Cody, who brilliantly gave us turbulent teens in the touching movie “Juno.” Diablo, you-oo, you-oo, you-oo oughta know better.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Still, there are thrilling emotional peaks and urgently relatable contemporary issues that should generate a passionate audience for Jagged Little Pill among young theatergoers who responded to musicals like Next to Normal and Dear Evan Hansen. The messiness of the show’s craft is even somewhat justified by its focus on “perfectly imperfect people, just like you.” Whatever the weaknesses of the creative team’s work, they deserve credit for breaking the jukebox mold and building a story that wrestles with real feelings and takes a stand against complacency.” “The results play like a cross between “American Beauty” and “Next to Normal,” and if that notion appeals to you, then you might enjoy “Jagged Little Pill.” Me, I found it leaden with earnestness.”

Entertainment Weekly: “Jagged‘s script is clever but not snide, quirky but not unrelatable.”  “So okay, this particular effort is ridiculous, but at least it’s a hint of something that might yet be. Morissette is a hell of a musician, and Cody consistently writes about women who have to do field surgery on their own psyches. They could still make a great musical together.”

Time Out: *** “Directed by Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill has moments of exciting stagecraft and performance, including one number that is strikingly staged backward and two dream-ballet versions of women in crisis (danced by Heather Lang). But the show has a faintly medicinal flavor. It wants to help heal us of multiple social ailments at once: rape culture, opioid addiction, racial microaggression, queer marginalization.”

The “Most Broadway musicals are a decade or two behind the times when it comes to major social issues, but here’s one that appears to have been inspired by, among other highlights of the #MeToo Movement, last summer’s U.S. Senate hearing over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.”

The Stage: *** “Paulus’ production is engagingly self-aware but there are simply too many social issues being explored giving it a hurried, inchoate air. Yet, in the moments when the music, subject matter, and directorial elements all click, the show has real power.”

Broadway World: “No doubt Jagged Little Pill will excite fans whose prime interest is to hear a beloved song catalogue performed by terrific Broadway singers. If Alanis Morissette ever decides to write an original musical score for the stage, the news will excite this theatregoer as well.”

Jagged Little Pill continues to play at the Broadhurst Theatre. Book tickets here.

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