The viral musical hit comes to Broadway. An edgy, comic look at coming of age in the digital age, through the lens of sci-fi films of the 50s, horror flicks of the 80s, and teen movies of the 90s. More…
Jeremy Heere is your average, nothing-special teenager at Middleborough High in nothing-special New Jersey...until the day he finds out about 'The Squip.' A tiny supercomputer inside a pill. Swallow one and a personalized voice will tell you how to dress, how to speak, how to…become cool. Thus begins a journey that pits Jeremy's desire to be popular against his struggle to remain true to his authentic self.
“As someone decades removed from high school, I found the humor broad, the POV adolescent and the music too loud. But for those with less delicate ears, there’s a lot to enjoy in the addictive and largely uptempo score...‘Be More Chill’ resonates with both young theater diehards and musical newbies who are skeptical that the art form can speak to them...It’s not for everyone, but it is a distinctive entry in the crowded market of Broadway high school musicals.” Full Review
"If all of its overplayed, overwrought freneticism could have been avoided, we’d actually have an interesting Broadway show…‘Be More Chill’ has a very Millennial male filter on teen life; the girls in the show seem always to be seen through the eyes of the guys...The show is at its best when either Roland’s Jeremy or Salazar’s Michael are alone on stage singing terrific Iconis songs...Those are the well-performed moments when you start to feel something for these kids." Full Review
"A high school comedy infused with techy sci-fi–the element that sets it apart from other Broadway productions...'Be More Chill' is committed to its high school genre, though even its archetypes can feel by-the-numbers...Even if you don’t dig the teen drama, 'Be More Chill’s' main attraction is its science-fiction flash...Its digestibility is geared toward Generation Z and Millennial audiences...Joe Iconis’s lyrics fires pop culture references at a hit-miss rate, with some allusions sailing o... Full Review
"‘Be More Chill’ has some seriously devoted fans...I wish I could share more fully in their ardor for this show...The story, a mix of satire, high school bestiary, and sci-fi, serves best as setting for the loud, lively and often tuneful score...It no longer feels like the little show that could. It's a noisy, high-powered commercial enterprise, selling itself largely to kids...I do regret the moments in the musical when the high school students feel one-note." Full Review
"Appealing though it often was in a smaller venue, the show has a different energy in this new space. The heat is off...Even for no-longer-young adults, it has entertaining moments. Iconis’s cannily crafted score features several nifty pop hooks...Directed in broad strokes by Brackett, the show doesn’t take itself seriously enough; many of the jokes are underbaked, and by the time it reaches its wacky, hectic finale, it has thrown internal logic out the window." Full Review
"The latest orgy of adolescent angst...The show is simply so-so. It’s loud, lively, and mostly lacking in surprises...The question at the musical’s core is provocative. If a pill could change your life, would you take it? The answer the show offers is, alas, pedestrian...Songs by Iconis get points for quirky subjects and self-aware wordplay. But they’re also long-winded and repetitive...Through it all, the actors are game and winning as they channel inner teens...It’s easy enough to swallow." Full Review
“’Be More Chill’ is likely to get a cool reception from anyone past prom age. Iconis’s score has a tuneful array of teen empowerment songs, but Tracz’s book can’t consistently deliver a compelling story or characters. Spending two and a half hours with them feels...like being stuck in detention...The tone lands somewhere in the lumpy middle of campy parody and heartfelt teen vehicle." Full Review
"The fact that the musical itself doesn’t match the greatness or inspiration of the mythical buzz that propelled it is a bit of a downer...The story is bogged down by well-worn conventions of the geeky-male-teen genre, and it doesn’t seem very interested in subverting them...The show redeems itself in the thoroughly enjoyable second act, when its charms become apparent and the many promises of its quirky plot come to fruition. It’s not a masterpiece, but I get what its fans see in it." Full Review
"Iconis' pop/rock score...is catchy enough. It features some fun, upbeat numbers...But for theatergoers not already smitten with the score, the musical contains serious problems. The book devolves into silliness...The central narrative certainly succeeds in tapping into themes of teenage angst and even has some symbolic resonance, but the sophomoric humor and cliched situations feel more appropriate for MTV than Broadway." Full Review
"It is clearly aimed at young audiences...As for older folk, beware. The super-loud electronically oriented pop music and mostly witless lyrics are by Joe Iconis, and the book about high school angst by Joe Tracz...The cast does its job big-time, eliciting loud applause for solo numbers from the adoring audience members who act as if they are experiencing euphoria...I do have one optimistic takeaway: anything that introduces a younger generation to the theater is a plus." Full Review
"A frenetic and unnerving new musical…‘Be More Chill’ is as confused and un-self-aware as a hormonal teenage boy — and nearly as reckless...Salazar stands out with the score’s best song, though his character seems merely coded as queer in a show lacking courage enough to follow through...In the end Jeremy still has voices in his head, the loudest of which he says is his own. The problem is, he still hasn’t learned that the only thing he needs to be is more…himself." Full Review
"A technicolor, high energy swirl of buzzwords and ideas that a corporate boardroom thought might appeal to Today's Youth but miss the mark...Some of ‘Be More Chill’ works. It's a fun and rare idea for a musical to have a sci-fi twist…‘Be More Chill’ doesn't grapple with the issues right in front of its face. It wants to say something profound about the pressures of being a young person in 2019, but instead settles for a stereotype-filled retrograde story straight out of the '80s." Full Review
"This latest entry in the puberty musical sweepstakes has traits that undeniably set it apart from its competition. For one thing, it is — by cold critical standards — the worst of the lot, with a repetitive score, painfully forced rhymes, cartoonish acting...But this ostensible amateurishness may be exactly what sells ‘Be More Chill’ to its young target audience...The show’s current incarnation remains a festival of klutziness...The acting, singing and dancing are all, to put it kindly, fren... Full Review
"Unfortunately, The Squip fails to prevent Jeremy from making the most mundane rhymes when it comes to singing Joe Iconis’ repetitive score...Iconis’ musical score can best be described the way fast-food chains sometimes advertise their processed chicken. It’s crispy. No matter that crispy is neither a flavor nor a tune...These overwrought people on stage recall the street performers in nearby Times Square." Full Review
"It left me puzzled, cold, and (at moments) plain furious...The cartoonish acting, the ‘crazeee’ expressions and heightened everything means that every moment comes at you like an ‘OMG!!!’ sledgehammer...You can pick whatever message path you want through this brightly lit madness...The worst feeling during ‘Be More Chill’ is that you’ve seen all these characters before…‘Be More Chill’ feels squawkily split between camp sci fi romp and searing teenage-life-today commentary." Full Review
"The heightened intensity is part of the originality. But the relentlessness is wearying and the hyperbolic style is at odds with the protagonist’s predictable emotional arc...Iconis writes in an indie-rock style that succeeds chiefly in conveying the inner turmoil shaking the characters. The clobbering effect is potent yet monotonous...With a 2½-hour rackety running time, the musical’s dimensions are out of whack." Full Review
“Science fiction is the uninspired twist that sets ‘Be More Chill’ apart from other teen angst musicals...The narrative often seems like an excuse to pad the story...The performances from the cast are mostly forgettable...There is ultimately nothing redeeming whatsoever about the characters...An unsatisfying evening of theater and reeks of amateur writing...Watching the show is akin to being on a bad acid trip—awkward, painful, jarring and unsatisfying." Full Review
"I find the implicit messages the material sends to young people repellent enough that I would advocate for impressionable minds to take in this musical with caution...I found its tone increasingly off-putting...The diverse and talented cast often seem pushed to the edge of caricature by cheap jokes and manic performances...The characterization of Jeremy’s peers, particularly the young women, also left me cold." Full Review
"'Be More Shrill' would be a better title for director Stephen Brackett’s heinously overamplified and overacted production...You get the feeling that Iconis’s score — with lyrics often resorting to doggerel — and Tracz’s satire-laced book might have retained some measure of charm in less hyperventilating style and more intimate surroundings...2½ hours of teenage insecurities turned into pop opéra bouffe make for a patience-trying endurance test." Full Review
See it if Congrats on a Broadway transfer from last season; Sci-fi quirky nerdy musical
Don't see it if High voltage sound to keep up with the “enthusiasm “ of it’s teen fan base. I’m all for loyal Fan’s, but not when it distracts from the...
See it if You love energetic performers singing their hearts out. The youthful audience knows the characters and knows their lyrics.
Don't see it if You rely on strong musical performances. I saw it in previews and the amplification was uneven.
See it if / to see what the viral-sensation hype is about; if you like high-school-anxiety and/or ugly duckling stories.
Don't see it if you'd like to avoid the tweens; you are in the mood for something multi-layered; you want to see something short.
See it if you can identify with teen insecurities and are interested in dark humor and modern music in a scrappy, self-aware and frenetic production
Don't see it if you prefer a traditional and polished production; you can’t empathize with a high school nobody who would do anything to fit in.
See it if You liked a talented cast, likable your home team that is playing in the wrong league, on the wrong date.
Don't see it if Can be considered loud, also language may may an adult blush. A Science fiction pop rock loud musical.
See it if you want an original musical in the sci fi genre that's not too serious
Don't see it if you want to see a musical with a great score, or great dancing which is almost non existent in this show. Seems to appeal to a young crowd.
See it if You just want to have a good time and see a lot of enthusiasm on stage. Some good performances, too.
Don't see it if You're expecting a polished production like KISS ME, KATE.
See it if A mix or Dear Evan Hansen & Little Shop of Horrors. Great score, acting & singing. Demographic of mid-teens and their parents.
Don't see it if you don't like coming of age musicals and or unique theater. The sound may be too loud for some.
See it if you are a late teen or in your twenties and want to be reminded that teenage angst is normal. However, the actors can belt out their songs.
Don't see it if you want great drama. This show is trite. It may have a cult following, but for no legitimate artistic reasons.
See it if you gravitate towards teen-angst musicals with a sci-fi twist. Some moments are relatable, but majority of the story is "out there."
Don't see it if you don't wish to revisit your cliched high school years.
See it if you want to watch George Salazar & Jason Tam be phenomenal or you want to see what the teens are enjoying
Don't see it if this show is about an obnoxious, privileged kid who thinks he deserves a lot of things - everyone is one dimensional. I don't get the hype
See it if You are a teenager or can relate to the experience of teenagers feeling like they don't fit in. You like to see actors giving their all.
Don't see it if You are looking for a strong Broadway musical. A lot of this show is unsophisticated, including the lyrics and the dancing.
See it if If Social justice buzzwords excite you even without context then you will be happy.
Don't see it if A story we have seen over and over. High school kid feels left out no one knoes him an he will never get the girl.
See it if You like high school musicals with a curious twist. If you are under 30 years of age and can follow the strange dialogue and songs
Don't see it if You DON'T like high school musicals and you are over 30 years of age
See it if you're a teenager who likes relating to other teenagers who are going through angsty times; you like Joe Iconis
Don't see it if you're expecting something deep. It's the plot of Little Shop, set in today's high school world.
See it if you like shows about teenage angst and corny flashbacks to your high school memories.
Don't see it if you have high expectations of it being dear evan hansen take two. Expected it to be clever but it fell short of hitting the mark.
See it if you're an unsophisticated post-Millennial who might enjoy a loud, shrill, silly "sci-fi lite" musical PSA re: being cool vs. being yourself.
Don't see it if u expect more than just shallow stereotypes; u don't like repetitive lyrics; u don't like repetitive lyrics; u don't like repetitive lyrics.
See it if you're a high school drama teacher intent on inspiring your students to write, compose, costume, direct, and choreograph their own musical.
Don't see it if you're a high school drama teacher taking a class to see a flashy Broadway show. (The design work is scrappy and there' s no big chorus.)
Also Memorable line: "But I am a masturbator..."
See it if wow, I don't know. You have some time and money to kill? You like high school and science fiction?
Don't see it if you're expecting strong songs, good choreography, stellar performances, a good plot, relevant humor, a realistic portrayal of high school...
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