Jagged Little Pill, the musical featuring songs of Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album (plus more) is indeed a hard pill to swallow, but I say that in a good way as I’m pretty sure it was intended to be that way. Much like how I did a song-by-song reaction when the cast recording came out, let me do a number-by-number reflection on the performance I caught last October 1st at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre when the tour stopped by Los Angeles as part of this year’s Broadway Across America season.
Overture and Right Through You – exciting introduction and I liked how they added the title of the show on the screen like how they do in the movies. A nice touch to remind people that yes, you are in the right show.
All I Really Want – what an explicit “I want” number. I thought the album was really meant to be a musical and I kinda chuckled a little at this.
Hand in My Pocket – lighthearted and a good introduction to Jo as played by Jade McLeod.
Smiling – this is one of the songs I was really looking forward to seeing, and it did not disappoint. Excellent must-see choreography amongst Heidi Blickenstaff’s (Mary Jane Healy) performance, and this song in my opinion, though not included in the 1995 album and a lesser-known song, is one of Alanis’ best work.
Ironic – I love how they played off the song’s non-irony of the lyrics. It was a good humorous self-own.
So Unsexy – this wasn’t my favourite song on the cast recording yet I really enjoyed this one and now have a newfound appreciation for it.
Perfect – very seamless to the storyline. Dillon Klena, who played Nick Healy effectively conveyed his character’s struggle.
So Pure – seems incidental and only used as a transition to the next scene but a good introduction to what is about to happen. I didn’t expect it will get dark by this point (I thought that would show itself in the second act).
That I Would Be Good – I don’t have a lot to say about this. It was a good breather for sure.
Wake Up – my number 1 song not only in the cast recording but the original album, too. I had high expectations and as much as it was essentially good, the chorus’ voice was sadly drowned out by the band. I still appreciated it, though. I also didn’t expect that this, as well as the song Hands Clean will play as integral songs throughout the rest of the show.
Forgiven – powerful. Very powerful 1st act finale.
Entr’acte/ Hands Clean – not much to say.
Not the Doctor – felt forced so as to be included in the show. Good thing Heidi Blickenstaff and Chris Hoch, who plays Steve Healy did a good number on it to make it more enjoyable.
Head Over Feet – another anticipated signature song showing two relationships; one just past beginning and one almost fading.
Your House – I like that the hidden track was included in the show and it is used really well.
Unprodigal Daughter – at this point, I was feeling the exhaustion of the Healy family and Frankie, played by Lauren Chanel really amplified it that I just wanted to go on stage and drag her back to their projection screen home.
Predator – I thought Unprodigal Daughter made me exhausted but this one just pushed it further. Allison Sheppard who played Bella projected the tragedy really well I actually heard some sniffling behind me.
You Oughta Know – lots of anticipation for this one and Jade McLeod delivered this really well she really did stop the show to an extended applause. Congratulations are in order for this one.
Uninvited – what can I say… this turned out to be my favourite number. Very haunting and bothersome. If you need to leave your seat to go outside, make sure you stay for this one.
Mary Jane – just okay for me. A good decompression number after the previous three heavy-set ones.
No – people cheered for this. Good messages all across. Perfect eleven ‘o clock number.
Thank U/ You Learn – very fitting end to the story and it gave the audience something to feel good about leaving the theatre.
In conclusion, Jagged Little Pill was everything I expected it to be and I really enjoyed the show. Sadly, the Broadway show ended up a pandemic casualty, but thankfully, the show lives on for now via the touring production. I believe a London production is in the works so hopefully this reaches out to more people. The touring production has left LA but continues on so do see it if and when the chance presents itself.