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Photos: BE MORE CHILL Makes Asian Premiere in Japan, Starring Kota Yabu of Hey! Say! JUMP

Be More Chill made its Asian premiere this summer on July 25 at the New National Theatre Playhouse

Be More Chill made its Asian premiere this summer on July 25 at the New National Theatre Playhouse, in Tokyo, and will follow with performances in Fukuoka and Osaka. Be More Chill is directed by Tony Award-nominated Stephen Brackett.

Get a first look at the production in the photos below!

Be More Chill, a musical adaptation of the 2004 novel of the same title by American author Ned Vizzini, has a book by Joe Tracz and music and lyrics by Tony Award-nominated Joe Iconis. It originally premiered at New Jersey's Two River Theatre in 2015.

The cast of Be More Chill includes: Kota Yabu from Hey! Say! JUMP, Seishiro Kato, Sayuri Inoue, Yuya Kido, Akiyoshi Utsumi, Ruki Saito, Marika Dandoy, Ayaka Larrison, Bro.Tom and Daisuke Yokoyama.

The production has choreography by Chase Brock (Hercules), orchestrations by Charlie Rosen (Prince of Broadway), scenic design by Beowulf Boritt (Flying Over Sunset), costume design by Bobby Frederick Tilley II (Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses), lighting design by Tyler Micoleau (The Band's Visit), projection design by Alex Basco Koch (Space Dogs), sound design by Aki Takeda (Japanese production of Kinky Boots), hair and wig design by Yuko Sato (Long Day's Journey into Night), with musical direction by Mako Kuwabara (Magic of Stella).

Despite its short run of less than a month in New Jersey, the music released on YouTube attracted a lot of attention, and the cast album, released in 2015, has been slowly gaining buzz among young people online in the U.S. and around the world, and after 97 weeks, it suddenly appeared in the Top 10 of Billboard cast album chart and became an exceptionally big hit. In 2017, when the show had not even been performed Off-Broadway, it was voted No.2 of the most talked-about musical on Tumblr, a social networking service, after Hamilton (which won Tony Award for Best Musical in 2016), surpassing Dear Evan Hansen (which won Tony Award for Best Musical in 2017).

The unprecedentedly strong support for this musical led to a sold-out Off-Broadway run when it opened in August 2018, and the show was extended, drawing audiences from all 50 U.S. states and 18 countries around the world who had been eagerly awaiting the show. The musical opened in London in February 2020, but the production was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In May 2021, it resumed performances in the West End, again to enthusiastic reactions.

A pop coming-of-age musical with a modern setting and slightly retro science fiction elements, it has been well received for its catchy songs and is scheduled to be made into a movie. This production of Be More Chill will be the first Asian production to be staged in Japan with a Japanese cast!

Photo Credit: HIKIJI Nobuhiko

Photos: BE MORE CHILL Makes Asian Premiere in Japan, Starring Kota Yabu of Hey! Say! JUMP
Kota Yabu and Daisuke Yokoyama

Photos: BE MORE CHILL Makes Asian Premiere in Japan, Starring Kota Yabu of Hey! Say! JUMP
Kota Yabu and ensemble

Photos: BE MORE CHILL Makes Asian Premiere in Japan, Starring Kota Yabu of Hey! Say! JUMP
Kota Yabu

Photos: BE MORE CHILL Makes Asian Premiere in Japan, Starring Kota Yabu of Hey! Say! JUMP
Seishiro Kato

Photos: BE MORE CHILL Makes Asian Premiere in Japan, Starring Kota Yabu of Hey! Say! JUMP
Daisuke Yokoyama and ensemble

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