- JAGGED LITTLE PILL: the MUSICAL
- Starlight Theater, Kansas City, Missouri
- August 1, 2023
Reviewed by J. R. Deeter
It has been nearly 30 years since Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” album was released. 30 holds a strange mental impact on most people….you dread the fact when you turn 30…you’re now old. The Mom & Dad kind of old, not elderly, but not a young person either.
I remember thinking when I first heard Morissette’s Grammy award winning songs that they were the stories of someone who had been hurt, deeply, and I couldn’t quite understand how someone so young could relate to the things I was hearing. The musical “Jagged Little Pill” has put it all into a perspective that I never thought of. The experience can relate to anyone, of any age.
I liked the fact that the show’s book, connecting Morisette’s songs, was written by Diablo Cody (2020 Tony award winner) and overall, it did flow easily. What I didn’t care for was the cliché of the family members – mom is a drug addict, dad is a workaholic, the son is a pressured overachiever and the daughter is confused sexually. That is not to lessen the impact of the subject matter and issues address by the story, they are legit and continue to be but it just seemed too forced on the viewer.
Another “get off my lawn” moment for me was the choreography of the supporting cast. Why does everyone have to always be all herky-jerky in their movements ? The one bright, shining moment was the number “Smiling” as mother Mary Jane, (Heidi Blickenstaff) suffers through searching for her drug fix, then progressing through her day, when suddenly everything flows intricately slowly in reverse, back to the house where it started. That segment is the highlight of the show.
The remaining family cast members performed admirably, but the show stealer was Jade McLeod in the roll of Jo.
“Jagged Little Pill: the Musical” receives a total of three out of five stars.
“Jagged Little Pill” plays at Starlight through Sunday. For tickets to see this or future shows, please click HERE.