Be More Chill

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Be More Chill

James Howell, Reporter

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With the recent trend of misfit teens in Broadway shows such as Dear Evan Hansen and Mean Girls, most would think that there would be nothing interesting or special about the recent hit Be More Chill, however, that is not the case.

Be More Chill, based on the 2004 book by the same name and written by Joe Tracz, opened on Broadway on March 10 at the Lyceum Theatre. The hit show had gotten fueled by social media and had picked up more than 250 million streams on Spotify since it’s Off-Broadway debut in 2015. The show centers Jeremy Heere, a teen boy who just wants to fit in and “more than survive.” This becomes a simple task when he is given a pill known as a Squip, which comes from Japan and is basically a quantum computer that embeds in his brain and teaches him how to be cooler- or sorry, be more chill. While this starts as a lifesaver for Jeremy, it quickly turns more and more sinister.

The show has already been nominated for multiple Lucille Lortel Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Stephanie Hsu), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (George Salazar), and Outstanding Projection Design.

I had the opportunity to see the show in its third week on Broadway, and it was utterly spectacular! Be More Chill is a breath of fresh air. It no longer follows the typical “misfit teen becomes cool” formula, it reinvents it! Ned Vizzini, who wrote the musical, and Joe Iconis, who composed the music, are genius in making a vibrant, bawdy, and overall enticing musical that evidently differentiates itself from most other modern musicals.

The actors also fueled the energy and enjoyment of this musical. George Salazar, Stephanie Hsu, Will Roland, Lauren Marcus, Katlyn Carlson, Justin Tam, and Tiffany Mann were absolutely sensational. I must point out that Tiffany Mann especially stole the show! Playing the role of Jenna, the local informer of all the gossip who just wants to be appreciated, Tiffany Mann carries the show with her outgoing personality and powerhouse vocals. She is a true show-stopper! George Salazar is also a notable shoutout. His character, Jeremy, is the protagonist’s best pal and doesn’t really care about fitting in like his friend. It isn’t until his solo number, Michael in the Bathroom, that Salazar’s true vocal abilities are unveiled.

Be More Chill is an absolute Broadway hit! If you ever find yourself in New York City, definitely add it to your bucket list!