Jagged Little Pill preview thread

Hamilfan2
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#51
Posted: 11/5/19 at 4:38pm

"In the ART version,

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content
Jo's breaking point before You Oughta Know happenswhen MJ refers to them as a girl.

How is this handled now?"

Wait is that true?  How did that work?  The lyrics to this song are clearly about an ex finding a new lover, did they have to change literally all of the lyrics? 

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VotePeron
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#52
Posted: 11/5/19 at 4:58pm
Did Lauren get a standing O after You Oughta? Wondering if that’ll continue to be a nightly occurrence, like in Boston.
mailhandler777
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#53
Posted: 11/5/19 at 5:03pm

Kitsune said: "broadwaynerdnewbie said: "Kitsune said: "Can someone confirm whether Jo is still non-binary and uses they pronouns in this version? (I'd heard rumors otherwise).

I saw JLP at ART. I know it has its flaws, but I really liked it regardless. Chalk it up to growing up in the 90s Jagged Little Pill preview thread
"

As far as I can tell they scrapped Jo being nonbinary. They make veiled hints at it but they don't come out and explicitly say she's non binary which may have to do with the backlash they got from fans with the Patten casting in ghat type of role.


"

Thanks for the clarification. Unfortunately this seems like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

In the ART version,

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content
Jo's breaking point before You Oughta Know happenswhen MJ refers to them as a girl.

How is this handled now?"

The same way. It wasn't at MJ but at Steve at ART and now. There is a funny one liner that wasn't at ART.

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
mailhandler777
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#54
Posted: 11/5/19 at 5:05pm

Hamilfan2 said: ""In the ART version,

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content
Jo's breaking point before You Oughta Know happenswhen MJ refers to them as a girl.

How is this handled now?"

Wait is that true? How didthat work? The lyrics to this song are clearly about an ex finding a new lover, did they have to change literally all of the lyrics?
"

They did change the lyrics. The main was is "are you thinking of me when he ***** you" that they had to change for Lauren and I'm guessing Ezra will be saying it the same way when they go on.

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
mailhandler777
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#55
Posted: 11/5/19 at 5:06pm

VotePeron said: "Did Lauren get a standing O after You Oughta? Wondering if that’ll continue to be a nightly occurrence, like in Boston. "

Lauren did indeed get a standing O on Sunday. 

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
mailhandler777
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#56
Posted: 11/5/19 at 5:58pm

broadwaynerdnewbie said: "Kitsune said: "Can someone confirm whether Jo is still non-binary and uses they pronouns in this version? (I'd heard rumors otherwise).

I saw JLP at ART. I know it has its flaws, but I really liked it regardless. Chalk it up to growing up in the 90s Jagged Little Pill preview thread
"

As far as I can tell they scrapped Jo being nonbinary. They make veiled hints at it but they don't come out and explicitly say she's non binary which may have to do with the backlash they got from fans with the Patten casting in ghat type of role.


"

Jo never was non binary in the ART version. Lauren played Jo as someone figuring themselves out and literally has lines "I'm figuring it out" "no one really knows who they are anyway".

 

Lauren identified as gender non conforming at the time and played the role that way. She still does on Broadway.

 

When Ezra goes on I'm sure Jo will be played different because Ezra is indeed non binary trans. 

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
Melodicinflation0
Swing
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#57
Posted: 11/5/19 at 10:59pm

Just got out of the show tonight. Collecting my thoughts about it. But overall it seemed kind of a mess.

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supersam1026
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#58
Posted: 11/5/19 at 11:23pm

Also was there tonight. Ran just under 3 hours (was on the street at 10:55). 

The best way I can describe it is as a Movie of the Week that is every movie of that week thrown into one 3 hour segment.

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bwayphreak234
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#59
Posted: 11/5/19 at 11:42pm

Jagged Little Pill is so bloated and teeming that it’s a miracle this show even fits in one theatre. As others have mentioned on here, this show tries to tackle every single social issue there ever was, ever has been, and ever will be. The end result is a huge mess of a show that is just a massive disappointment in every way when all is said is done.

I won’t even try to go into detail about the plots (yes plural). There are approximately eight main characters, and the audience never really gets the chance to know any of them. The aforementioned plethora of social issues are spread out amongst all of them, though.

The performers do their best with the material they are given. Lauren Patten’s character is the only one really given a true moment to shine with “You Oughta Know”. The rest of the characters all blend together. Derek Klena does not read as a high schooler, and he is completely wasted in the show. There are sadly no standouts in the cast.

The direction and choreography are outright laughable. The jerky movements and transitions with the random ensemble members make no sense. The set is dirt cheap. Huge sliding panels and walls awkwardly clunk around nonstop and are littered with some of the ugliest projections I have ever seen.

I will say that Act 2 felt a little bit tighter and focused than Act 1, but just barely. The show feels entirely too long in its current form, and would benefit from quite a few heavy cuts, but I don’t see that happening, sadly. I think Jagged Little Pill can best be described as an entire season of a bad TV family drama stuffed into three hours.

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Updated On: 11/6/19 at 11:42 PM
chrishuyen
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#60
Posted: 11/5/19 at 11:44pm

I was at the show tonight and actually found it delightful and fresh.  The book does cover a lot of ground, but it never really bothered me how scattered it was since most of act one seemed almost like a handful of loosely connected vignettes that vaguely moved the story forward until the inciting incident with Bella, but I thought the characters were interesting enough that I wanted to see more about their lives, though it did seem like it came from the same world as things like Booksmart and Next to Normal.

I was mostly impressed with how seamlessly the songs seemed to fit into the scenes.  I didn't really know Jagged Little Pill the album at all going in, only having a vague recollection of songs like You Oughta Know (another standing ovation for that as well tonight, first from the mezzanine and then from the orchestra after the mezzanine had sat down) and Ironic, so if I hadn't known it was a jukebox musical I probably wouldn't have noticed a couple of spots where things seemed slightly shoehorned in, but overall I felt that it actually flowed really smoothly.

I will agree that Derek Klena's character is mostly useless and I was pretty surprised at how little he does in the show, but I actually loved the arcs that MJ and Frankie go through.  The choreography was pretty unique, but also seemed puzzling at times in terms of how it fit into a particular scene.  This could also be because I was rather disappointed at the last three musicals I saw, which all happened to be based on a pop score (Wrong Man, Moulin Rouge, and Ain't Too Proud), but I really enjoyed this show, and I'll be interested to see it again after it opens to see if anything changes and to see what critics think.

Updated On: 11/5/19 at 11:44 PM
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RippedMan
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#61
Posted: 11/5/19 at 11:58pm

Was there tonight too via the digital lottery - Row E all the way on the side. Not the perfect seat, but didn't feel like I missed anything. 

This was an overall miss for me despite a very vocal and ready audience. 

Direction: Just a mess. I don't think she knows how to direct a contemporary musical. It felt like the same set up as Waitress - band slides on and off for whatever reason. And the ensemble is just constantly moving and interrupting scenes to do some sort of contemporary dance. It's okay to let two actors sit still and just sing. Or have a moment. It felt like every song wanted to be its own show stopper, so instead of having a simple ballad, it erupted into an everyone-on-stage-dancing moment. Also I hated how they open the show with the logo on the set, etc. 

Design: Awful. Maybe one of the worst sets I've seen. Clunky. I could hear it moving. And I think actors moving scenery into place just looks very cheap when some people have paid upwards of $300. 

Choreography: Just bad. You don't have to act out every word. That's not dance. Just because you say around doesn't mean everyone needs to move their finger in a circular motion. And if the show is set in the very white suburbs of CT, why are there just always 2 girls twerking and giving us So You Think You Can Dance at all times? It's A LOT of "movement," and most of it should be cut. The 2 highlights were the reverse song (But like, why did she grab a trash bag that was outside by a dumpster?), and the "flashback to the party." But then that same moment is done again in the next song and then it feels tired. 

Book: Like everyone said it's just got too much going on. Overall the show needs focus. There was a point in Act 1 where I was wondering if this show had an intermission because it seemed unending. There's just too much talking and nothing too great is said. Some funny jokes, but the characters don't feel specific. I will say I didn't feel like the songs were too shoehorned in, but I'll be honest, I don't know the music all that well, so I wasn't sure what song was what, etc. 

Music: I quite enjoyed the music. I always like Kitts arrangements, and thought he did a nice job here. I will say the sound design was AWFUL. The first 3 songs just felt like a karaoke track. I mean, I can see the band on stage, and yet it feels like the music is coming out of a room somewhere. 

Performances: Hit and miss for me. I loved Stanley and thought she was the perfect Housewife-having-a-breakdown. She really was the glue that held that whole messy show together and grounded it. I actually wish the focus had stayed on her more because I find that more interesting than the rest, which was, again, messy. Everyone was in great voice and Jo's "You Oughta Know" brought down the house, for good reason. She was fantastic. But just interesting to give the biggest moment of the show a minor character. But I guess that speaks more to the book because after that Stanley has a really beautiful ballad, but it just doesn't live up to the excitement of the previous song. Structurally I would have ended Act 1 with "You Ought To Know" and have the audience on a high, and I think you could rearrange the book to make that happen. 

Lastly, I just have to say that the two young lovers sitting on a swing set that's being spun by 2 ensemble members is just stupid. So is having an ensemble member do a jump rope alone behind Stanley when it's suppose to be a super serious moment. It got laughs. 

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Auggie27
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#62
Posted: 11/6/19 at 8:02pm

I was there this afternoon, and my take mirrors Ripped Man's in particular, and several others in general.

SPOILERS

I wanted to fall into this piece, to feel what I felt at "Normal..." or "Spring Awakening..." But it's a busy, overly didactic amalgam of so much familiar contemporary B'way storytelling, it's almost a parody.  The big shock is the mostly generic Diablo Cody book, because her screenplays ("Tully" is underappreciated) are characterized by quirky specificity. Not here. When a workaholic finally takes up the guitar to become more human, it's the last hoary cllche. These are character constructs, not real people, defined by the tropes of archetypes, i.e. adopted daughter, a forced-to-assimilate person of color, a by-the-numbers date rape victim (we never get to know, a stunning lapse in a show by women), in a subplot that becomes the plot proper, though not in a persuasive way. The central family centers around a mother with Two Big Secrets, both of which are known in minutes, and we must wait for the consequences. Elizabeth Stanley, in a heroic performance, makes the most of this hodgepodge of intersectional issues, reminding me, poignantly, of Marin Mazzie at her best, vocally and (with the wig) physically, especially in profile. It's a hard-working actor-singer bringing her A game to a part that is not dimensional enough to warrant the investment. In a show that sets her up as the root-for protagonist, only to abandon her in order to shoehorn in issue-driven digressions. (Tossing an LGBTQ+/ non-binary lover for a straight heternormative romance line feels like another show, and doesn't even get any development here, beyond being billboarded enough to set up songs. Including The Big Song, saved for act 2.)

The other disappointment is Paulus, who seems to think that slamming the peripatetic projection-dependent set into itself and sprinkling a twerking grunge chorus into literally every single number is fresh. We yearn for the show to just ... stop, to dare stop moving, to allow a song to simply work via interpretation and singing. Instead, it's all presentational fist or finger-pumping gesticulation to make sure we get the Big Idea.  Why this ensemble? An aggrieved group of people living in a culture that pisses them off. It's bizarre, because it's a Connecticut 'burb with almost all straight white leads, surrounded by a diverse company of hangers-on who angrily insert themselves to make the white space-defined audience feel guilty for ... what .. buying $169 a pop tickets?  Why is the show so hellbent on schooling an audience likely to be sympathetic to its underlying POV, indeed, its causes?  Why can't they let the story make the thematic sociopolitical points?  By the time we get to an anti-sexual violence demonstration, complete with baldly printed placards shoved at the audience, the show feels like an R-rated afterschool special. Albeit one for kids who don't go to school.

To say that the messaging is heavy-handed is an understatement.

Paulus doesn't trust that the topicality plays to a B'way audience already empathetic. We don't need to be shamed for not being more upset about gender violence.  And why is that issue shoved into a show that is built on a mother's addiction to Oxycodin?  The idea that pain creates a need for painkillers, therefore everything is about the cycle of trauma and self-medication, is just so without nuance, so sledge-hammered.  Really, team, we're not so uninformed or uncool that we are clueless. But the creators address us as if we've never been exposed to these ideas, that we'd better be woke soon.

It's an insulting way to preach to the choir.

As for the music, it's loud and the lyrics are impossible to hear clearly. Whole numbers explode without any particular point articulated. If the script preaches, the songs depend on melody and amplification to excite. Sometimes, they do. (I' especially liked "Smiling," the backwards song early that focuses on Stanley's character's drug-fueled entrapment in quotidian tasks.)  I wanted the music to carry the show, but it cannot.  I say this as a fairly indifferent fan. Did anyone else feel the music begins to sound like a loud, indeciipherable  wall of mushy sound?  The inattention to lyrics is shocking. And the roof-taker-offer, "You Oughta Know" is no exception. Someone sitting near me said, "What the hell was she so worked up about?"  It's not an unearned response, even if we stand for the actor, spilling guts atop a story that hasn't earned her spilled guts.

Is it a mess?  Too close for a show so developed by such gifted theater artists.

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
Updated On: 11/6/19 at 08:02 PM
Roscoe
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#63
Posted: 11/6/19 at 8:19pm

JAGGED LITTLE PILL is a tired batch of dysfunctional family cliches and Sodom In The Suburb tropes.  Loud and obnoxious and ever ready to lecture those of us unlucky enough to be in the audience, the songs are the saving grace of the experience, and I only wish they were performed with a little more care.  Way too many of the lyrics are simply unintelligible, and shortcomings in the production become more apparent, like the warmed-over Bill T. Jones choreography and the too busy set design and over-clever staging.  

Overall, it's like the kids in that SNL High School Sketch -- https://youtu.be/323v_FtWqvo

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
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broadwaynerdnewbie
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#64
Posted: 11/6/19 at 9:13pm

I quite liked the show. Was it particularly groundbreaking and inventive? No but I was entertained during the show (both times I saw it).  Seeing it on Tuesday I noticed that cut out some smaller parts from act one (like when the characters asked Derek's character to come to a party to celebrate his Harvard admission) and I do think they are trying to find ways to tighten act 1 up pacing wise.

Talking to Patten after the show she did say there were more changes that they were working on but obviously didn't mention them.  I'm intrigued to see how critics like it and what the show looks like post opening.

Despite other people's opinions I do think there is a solid audience for this show but only time will tell.

SouthernCakes
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#65
Posted: 11/6/19 at 9:36pm
They should cut Klena’a song in Act 1. It wasn’t needed and wasn’t particularly interesting.

It’s just way too long. The scenes are long. The book is clunky. Why did the doctor walk in and say “Hi, I’m the doctor.” Is Cody trying to keep everything bland and non-specific? The rally was way too obvious.

I applaud you for going twice. This one is tough to sit through!
barcelona20
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#66
Posted: 11/6/19 at 9:50pm
Where's whizzer????
mailhandler777
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#67
Posted: 11/6/19 at 10:11pm

SouthernCakes said: "They should cut Klena’a song in Act 1. It wasn’t needed and wasn’t particularly interesting.

It’s just way too long. The scenes are long. The book is clunky. Why did the doctor walk in and say “Hi, I’m the doctor.” Is Cody trying to keep everything bland and non-specific? The rally was way too obvious.

I applaud you for going twice. This one is tough to sit through!
"

I went 5 times at ART and plan on going a lot on Broadway. Not tough to sit through at all for me at least.

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
SouthernCakes
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#68
Posted: 11/6/19 at 10:16pm
To each their own! I will say the audience was very vocal, but it seemed to be coming from the rear mezz - which means cheaper tickets, so wonder how the grosses will be, etc. But I’d imagine this will run on name alone. This is a show for women, and women buy theater tickets.
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Miles2Go2
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#69
Posted: 11/6/19 at 10:31pm
I just found a $54 Audience Rewards ticket for JLP for when I may be in NYC. I know I’m working that week, but don’t know yet if it’ll be in NYC, Memphis or Baltimore. I note: “ No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges are permitted and all award redemptions are final.”. But someone else on the thread had said sometimes rewards tickets pop back up on AR if someone returns them. I’m tempted to bite the bullet and buy tonight, but don’t want to get stuck with a ticket I can’t use if work takes me elsewhere. Are refunds or cancellations ever allowed? Any helpful advice is welcome.
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Miles2Go2
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#70
Posted: 11/6/19 at 10:35pm

Also, if I couldn’t make it, could I change ticket to someone else’s name at box office?

Update: Whelp, I bit the bullet and bought the ticket. There was only one ticket left for only available performance I could attend if I’m in town so fingers crossed. 

Updated On: 11/6/19 at 10:35 PM
mailhandler777
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#71
Posted: 11/6/19 at 10:52pm

bwayphreak234 said: "Jagged Little Pill is so bloated and teeming that it’s a miracle this show even fits in one theatre. As others have mentioned on here, this show tries to tackle every single social issue there ever was, ever has been, and ever will be. The end result is a huge mess of a show that is just a massive disappointment in every way when all is said is done.

I won’t even try to go into detail about the plots (yes plural). There are approximately eight main characters, and the audience never really gets the chance to know any of them. The aforementioned plethora of social issues are spread out amongst all of them, though.

The performers do their best with the material they are given. Lauren Patten’s character is the only one really given a true moment to shine with “You Oughta Know”. The rest of the characters all blend together. Derek Klena does not read as a high schooler, and he is completely wasted in the show. There are sadly no standouts in the cast.

The direction and choreography are outright laughable. The jerky movements and transitions with the random ensemble members make no sense. The set is dirt cheap. Huge sliding panels and walls awkwardly clunk around nonstop and are littered with some of the ugliest projections I have ever seen.

I will say that Act 2 felt a little bit tighter and focused than Act 1, but just barely. The show feels entirely too long in its current form, and would benefit from quite a few heavy cuts, but I don’t see that happening, sadly. I think Jagged Little Pill can best be described as an entire season of a bad TV family drama stuffed into three hours.
"

The show runs exactly 2.5hrs without an intermission. 

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
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n2nbaby
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#72
Posted: 11/6/19 at 10:55pm

Miles2Go2 said: "Also, if I couldn’t make it, could I change ticket to someone else’s name at box office? "

I’m not sure about returns, but I know you can change the name for pick up and I’m sure someone here would buy it.

Seeing this next week but god these reviews are discouraging. This was my most anticipated show of the season. At least now my expectations are lowered quite a bit, so I may enjoy it more. At least we know the music will be great. I HATE after school special type shows though, especially when the bang you over the head with it’s message. 

smidge
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#73
Posted: 11/6/19 at 11:02pm

Miles2Go2 said: "I just found a $54 Audience Rewards ticket for JLP for when I may be in NYC. I know I’m working that week, but don’t know yet if it’ll be in NYC, Memphis or Baltimore. I note: “ No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges are permitted and all award redemptions are final.”. But someone else on the thread had said sometimes rewards tickets pop back up on AR if someone returns them. I’m tempted to bite the bullet and buy tonight, but don’t want to get stuck with a ticket I can’t use if work takes me elsewhere. Are refunds or cancellations ever allowed? Any helpful advice is welcome. "

Miles, I was the one who mentioned the cancellations. I was able to do it but I can't remember the exact circumstances. I believe I was able to exchange for another available date. I'm sorry I can't guarantee your possibility of getting a refund.

mailhandler777
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#74
Posted: 11/6/19 at 11:02pm

n2nbaby said: "Miles2Go2 said: "Also, if I couldn’t make it, could I change ticket to someone else’s name at box office? "

I’m not sure about returns, but I know you can change the name for pick up and I’m sure someone here would buy it.

Seeing this next week but god these reviews are discouraging. This was my most anticipated show of the season. At least now my expectations are lowered quite a bit, so I may enjoy it more. At least we know the music will be great. I HATE after school special type shows though, especially when the bang you over the head with it’s message.
"

Go in with an open mind and not going on reviews here. 

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
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Miles2Go2
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Jagged Little Pill preview thread#75
Posted: 11/6/19 at 11:08pm
Thanks, all. I’m hopeful the work is in NYC. If not, I’ll call AR and see what my options are. If my only option is to sell it to someone for $54 then switch ticket to their name at box office, I’ll be okay with losing the 1,000 AR points. These reports do help me keep my expectations reasonable, but I’ve learned to trust my gut and I really want to see this.