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BWW Blog: Spending the Holidays with Broadway's Jagged Little Pill

How one of the standout shows of the season is staying connected with fans during the holidays (and the pandemic).

BWW Blog: Spending the Holidays with Broadway's Jagged Little Pill

Anyone who knows me, or even just follows me on Instagram, is aware of the fact that I am fully obsessed with Jagged Little Pill. I have seen the show 6 times, and leave the theatre stunned (and usually crying) after every performance. The production is unique in the sense that it is not just entertaining and visually appealing, but is genuinely thought-provoking and ignites meaningful conversations about relevant societal issues. I've always valued theatre as a way of escaping the problems of my life, but have recently come to greatly appreciate stage material that is socially useful and reflective of personal experiences or struggles that I have encountered. Jagged feels like the perfect show for the world we are living in right now, which is why I was overjoyed to hear that the cast would be reuniting on a few different occasions in November and December. Any opportunity to witness "live" theatre is welcomed, and feels absolutely necessary after watching the pandemic wreak havoc on the industry for the last 8 months, but the thought of more people simply learning about this beautiful show is what excited me the most.

BWW Blog: Spending the Holidays with Broadway's Jagged Little PillI used to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade every year with my grandma, and we would eat cinnamon rolls and drink sparkling cider, while oohing and aahing over the intricate floats and amazing performances. Even now at 19 years old, the parade is what I look forward to most on Thanksgiving, and always reminds me of such pleasant childhood memories. I also just fully embrace any opportunity to introduce my family to my current favorite Broadway shows and any notable new productions, so I was thrilled when I saw that the cast of Jagged Little Pill would be performing this year. 12 members of the company came together on the streets of New York City to perform the gorgeous rendition of Alanis' "You Learn" that closes out the show. The last time I heard that song performed was in early March, when I unknowingly sat in a Broadway theatre for the last time before the shutdown, so it feels very bittersweet. The performance is available here to watch as many times as you need to cope with the lack of live theatre in your life right now.

BWW Blog: Spending the Holidays with Broadway's Jagged Little PillNBC's "One Night Only: The Best of Broadway" event happened just a few weeks later, and reunited the Jagged Little Pill cast, along with other Broadway performers, once again. Hosted by Tina Fey, the two hour long special celebrated the resilience of the theatre community during these incredibly challenging times, and highlighted a handful of current productions such as Mean Girls and Chicago. Similarly to the Macy's Parade, it was filmed outside on the streets of Manhattan's theater district, and featured appearances and performances by various celebrities and advocates for the theatre community. A small group of Jagged cast members performed "You Oughta Know'', one of the production's most show-stopping moments, and then closed out the night by again singing "You Learn". And the best part? The special raised over $3 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, an wonderful organization that has provided emergency financial assistance to people working in the industry. You can rewatch the special on Hulu and NBC.com if you missed it, or just want to relive the incredible night.

BWW Blog: Spending the Holidays with Broadway's Jagged Little PillMost recently, the principal cast and a handful of ensemble members from Jagged Little Pill got together for a reunion concert in Manhattan. The event was live-streamed to thousands of fans who, like myself, are missing theatre and would do anything to be sitting in the audience at the Broadhurst right now. They performed multiple numbers from the show, including classics like "Hand in My Pocket" and "Head Over Feet", new songs like "Smiling" and even blessed us with the full choreography for "Uninvited". I am not ashamed to admit that I cried for the full 1.5 hours (and the pre-show footage had me a little weepy too) because it was just so incredibly moving to see the cast having fun and telling this story on-stage again. One of my favorite things about Jagged is that the company really seems like a family, and every single cast member looks like they are having the time of their lives when they are performing together. It is truly beautiful and inspiring to see, and reminds me of why I am writing for Broadway World and love theatre so deeply. The concert was only available for viewing for a few days, but fear not! This article has a few clips from the special, and more videos will likely surface in the coming weeks.

Broadway productions are doing what they can to still keep fans engaged during the pandemic, but I really commend the Jagged Little Pill team for staying so active on social media, and I am so grateful that they had the resources to execute events and performances that reached an even wider audience of people. The show is so beautiful and relevant, and thanks to the power of technology/the internet, more people than ever have been exposed to the story of the Healy Family at a time when we need to hear it the most.

And if you're someone like me who loves Christmas but is definitely ready for 2020 to be over, you can ring in the New Year by watching this performance of "You Oughta Know" that Alanis, Lauren Patten and the cast of Jagged Little Pill did last year on ABC's New Year's Rockin Eve Special!



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From This Author Student Blogger: Maura Consedine