JAGGED LITTLE PILL Breaks Records for American Repertory Theater
Audiences fell "head over feet" for American Repertory Theater's world premiere production of Jagged Little Pill, which closed on Sunday, July 15 after 79 sold-out performances at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge.
After months of widespread anticipation around how the iconic album would be transformed into a stage musical, the curtain rose on Saturday, May 5 for the production's first preview. Ardent fans who traveled from around the world went wild for the performances-as the run continued, enthusiasm snowballed online, in print, and by word-of-mouth.
"[Seeing Jagged Little Pill] was like looking in the mirror for the first time. Not only looking in the mirror, but looking and knowing, truly knowing, that what you are is okay. Magnificent. Alive, and beautiful...It's an incredible feeling to be seen. [To the cast:] I appreciate everything you've done for me and all the other kids who have seen this show and felt the same things. You're changing lives here," wrote audience member @mellerbees on Instagram.
[Jagged Little Pill is] a piece of art that has completely changed how I view myself and my impact on the world...Beside the fact that this play tells many, many important stories, Jagged Little Pill has brought me closer and reconnected me to powerful women in my life; it's reminded me what it's like to be passionate about something. And perhaps most importantly, its cast-particularly leading women-have inspired me to go after my dreams," wrote @GrayDorians on Instagram.
"Developing Jagged Little Pill and sharing it with our audiences has been such an extraordinary experience for all of us at the American Repertory Theater. Our cast was profoundly changed by developing and performing this show in this town and for this community. At the A.R.T., we are continuously challenging ourselves to create theater that makes an impact, which is why the audience reaction to this show has been so meaningful," said Jagged Little Pill director and A.R.T.'s Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- More than 45,000 audience members-attended 79 performances during the 10-week run, the longest of any A.R.T. production at the Loeb Drama Center.
- More than 1,200 audience members purchased tickets to see the show again-the most devoted #JaggedLittleFans attended more than 15 performances.
- Audience members traveled to Cambridge from 26 countries and all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands to see the production.
- As early as 4AM, patrons lined up outside the Loeb Drama Center to purchase rush standing-room tickets to the final weeks of performances.
- More than 200 costume changes of 625 costume pieces occurred during each performance.
- 5 miles of lighting cable ran to control 523 lighting instruments.
- 79 standing ovations for "You Oughta Know"-one at every performance from first preview through closing night-brought the second act to a halt.
During A.R.T.'s development and run, A.R.T. hosted a Sister Circle with women of color, as well as content-driven conversations with Dr. Peter Grinspoon, author of Free Refills (petergrinspoon.com); Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (barcc.org); Boston Alliance of GLBTQ Youth (BAGLY.org); Cambridge Health Alliance (challiance.org); and Improbable Players (improbableplayers.org), a Watertown-based group that uses theater to address addiction, alcoholism, and the opioid epidemic. More than 2,400 students and 700 members of community partner organizations attended.
Jagged Little Pill was inspired by Alanis Morissette's groundbreaking, Grammy Award-winning album and features a book by Diablo Cody; music by Morissette and Glen Ballard; lyrics by Morissette; additional music by Michael Farrell and Guy Sigsworth; music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt; choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and direction by Diane Paulus.
Jagged Little Pill tells an original story about pain, healing, and empowerment. The Healys appear to be a picture-perfect suburban family-but looks can be deceiving. When the Healys' lives are disrupted by a series of disturbing events, they must choose between maintaining the status quo or facing harsh truths about themselves, their community, and the world around them. Including iconic songs "Ironic," "You Oughta Know," and "Hand In My Pocket," Jagged Little Pill incorporates selections from Morissette's catalogue and new material written for this world-premiere musical.
The cast featured Elizabeth Stanley as Mary Jane; Sean Allan Krill as Steve; Celia Gooding as Frankie; Derek Klena as Nick; and Lauren Patten as Jo. Ensemble members included Jane Bruce, John Cardoza, Antonio Cipriano, Kathryn Gallagher, Laurel Harris, Logan Hart, Max Kumangai, Soph Menas, Sean Montgomery, Nora Schell, Whitney Sprayberry, Kei Tsuruharatani, and Ebony Williams. Yeman Josiah Brown and Kelsey Orem performed as swings.
The creative team included scenic design by Tony Award nominee Riccardo Hernandez; costume design by Emily Rebholz; lighting design by Tony Award nominee Justin Townsend; sound design by Tony Award nominee Jonathan Deans; and video/projection design by Finn Ross. Music direction was by Bryan Perri. Ira Mont was the production stage manager. Jagged Little Pill was presented by special arrangement with Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price.