The Off-Broadway musical Be More Chill has proven a sensation. Audiences cannot get enough of the musical by Joe Iconis (music and lyrics) and Joe Tracz (book). The show will conclude its 10-week sold-out run on September 30. The next step for Be More Chill will be an open-ended Broadway engagement. With previews beginning on February 13, 2019, and an official opening scheduled for March 10, 2019, the Stephen Brackett directed and Chase Brock choreographed piece will play Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre.
“It’s impossible to remain chill as we announce our Broadway opening later this season,” says Be More Chill‘s Tony-nominated lead producer Gerald Goehring. “With audiences traveling from around the country and around the world, we could not have been more thrilled with the outpouring of love we received during our New York premiere engagement off-Broadway. Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz have created a beautiful and universal musical that has inspired audiences throughout the summer and now the entire company cannot wait to bring the production to an even greater audience at The Lyceum in the new year.”
Be More Chill, based on the cult sensation novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini, is described as follows: “What if popularity came in a pill? Would you take it, no questions asked? In Be More Chill, achieving that elusive “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. “
“Of course, a new musical is never done and a new production means another chance to upgrade,” said composer/lyricist Joe Iconis and book writer Joe Tracz. “Fans can expect that the show (like the Squip’s ever-changing wardrobe) will continue to evolve. This journey began at Two River Theatre in 2015 and we’re not done yet. So grab your Mountain Dew and your Player Two and come join us on Broadway. Everything about it is going to be wonderful.”
“There’s no feeling like watching audiences watch Be More Chill,” adds Joe Tracz. “Whether they come wearing a homemade Michael hoodie or knowing nothing but the title, whether they’ve discovered it via our cast album, Ned Vizzini’s brilliant novel, or word of mouth, I’ve been humbled to see the show bring so many people together to share in something deeply cathartic and cathartically joyful. Joe Iconis and I made this show for anyone who’s ever been a teenager, and it’s always been our dream to bring it to the widest audience possible. We’re thrilled that now means Broadway, and I personally can’t wait to watch many more audiences connect to Be More Chill.”
The New York premiere production of Be More Chill currently features Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening, Groundhog Day) as Rich, Katlyn Carlson (Dirty Dancing, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin) as Chloe, Stephanie Hsu (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Christine, Tiffany Mann (Waitress, Jerry Springer the Opera) as Jenna, Lauren Marcus (The Humans at St. Louis Rep, Company at Barrington Stage) as Brooke, Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen, The Black Suits) as Jeremy, George Salazar (tick tick BOOM!, Godspell, The Lightning Thief) as Michael, Britton Smith (Shuffle Along, After Midnight) as Jake, Jason Tam (NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” KPOP) as The Squip, and Jason SweetTooth Williams (Freaky Friday, Benny and Joon, Bloodsong of Love) as Jeremy’s Dad/Mr. Reyes. Cameron Bond (Finding Neverland), Troy Iwata (The Boy Who Danced on Air), and Talia Suskauer (Love in Hate Nation) are the company swings.
Iconis adds: “The fact that I get to make my Broadway debut as a writer surrounded by so many long-time collaborators and beloved friends both on stage and behind the scenes is a literal dream come true. Be More Chill has surprised me and Joe Tracz every step of the way and we can’t believe that our celebration of misfits, losers, and underdogs gets to take up residence on 45th Street.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.