Closed 2h 30m
Be More Chill (Off-Broadway)
Midtown W
83

Be More Chill (Off-Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(307 Reviews)
Positive
88%
Mixed
9%
Negative
3%
Members say
Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Great singing, Quirky

About the Show

This New York premiere musical is an edgy, comic look at coming of age in the digital age. Get tickets to the Broadway transfer here!.

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Member Reviews (307)

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90
Clever, Great singing, Funny, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if You want to see something new, fun and original. Young and fresh with a unique story and super talented actors/singers.

Don't see it if You expect...anything...this is pretty off the wall. Part love story, part sci-fi, part coming of age. Read more

75
Clever, Quirky, Intense, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if Another musical about usual teenage insecurties but w/ a digital twist Often clever & sincere but nothing new to say Tons of energy & talent

Don't see it if Unfair comparisons to Evan Hansen will abound but it's just not as vocally complex or textured Very loud w/drowned out lyrics & lame choreo

Critic Reviews (35)

August 9th, 2018

"Unfortunately, anyone for whom adolescence is a distant and unpleasant memory is unlikely to feel like screaming, not in ecstasy, anyway...'Be More Chill' seems like a members-only club for those caught in the hellish here-and-now of the middle teens...From beginning to end, the score has an 'OMG' urgency that never lets up,...The musical sequences, featuring slapdash choreography by Chase Brock, tend to blend into one another."
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August 9th, 2018

"Iconis' pop-rock score includes plenty of enjoyably catchy, uptempo numbers...Director Stephen Brackett keeps things moving at a frenetic pace, with Chase Brock's energetic choreography providing plenty of opportunities for the young performers to exhibit their athleticism...Exuberantly performed by its talented ensemble, the musical is definitely not for everyone...But the evening ultimately proves so winning that it's hard to entirely resist."
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August 9th, 2018

"Roland’s best musical moment comes early in the show with squeakily and eloquently-rendered lines...For Salazar, his nervous 'Michael in the Bathroom' is a second act tour de force, a rollercoaster ride of anxiety-driven vocal emotionalism and melodic complexity...Stephen Brackett and Beowulf Boritt make the action swift, and the glossy, 80s-like setting sleek and techy without New Wave kitsch. No theater piece has made tech-nerdiness look or sound as modern and warm."
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August 9th, 2018

"'Be More Chill' is a delight, a tale of social anxiety whose pop-rock score, written by Joe Iconis, is unfailingly lively and fresh. Stephen Brackett and Chase Brock, the director and choreographer, keep the pace brisk, and the cast, Stephanie Hsu in particular, is engaging without limit. Yes, Joe Tracz’s book is deliberately pitched to an under-35 audience, but you don’t have to be a millennial to get the jokes, much less to revel in the sparky charms of 'Be More Chill.'"
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August 9th, 2018

"I found 'Be More Chill' to be dopey, shrill and manic, amped to earbleed level. Joe Iconis’ pop-rock score is skillful, but generic and overly camp. It has a few decent songs and a dollop of heart, but doesn’t stand out from the crowd...Still, I can understand why so many young (and not so young) people are drawn to 'Be More Chill.' It’s broad but earnest...I just hope the juniors that flock to this...can grow up and appreciate more demanding stuff."
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August 9th, 2018

"Iconis has written his finest score to date. His catchy songs are neatly integrated into the plotting and provide complete character portraits. Iconis also uses eerie electronic sounds to heighten the mood. The book (by Joe Tracz) is nowhere near as strong as the score, which creates a palpable disunity...Notwithstanding, the production is a raucous good time, with a gleefully silly, hyperkinetic air that invades its every facet...The high-powered performances are universally excellent."
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August 9th, 2018

"A hard-charging score by Iconis and a deliriously funny book by Tracz...Roland leads the tireless cast with authentic dweebiness...Salazar is an instantly appealing wingman and briefly steals the show...Iconis is a musical magpie, incorporating contemporary pop and rock into a classic, almost retro Broadway sound...'Be More Chill' holds a funhouse mirror up to the way we increasingly live our digital lives. That makes it not just ridiculously fun, but positively heroic."
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August 10th, 2018

“Loaded with young talent, even if one sometimes wonders about the uses to which it is being put…Even when 'Be More Chill' does things well, it's hard to forget that others are doing them, too -- sometimes better…Even at its most entertaining, the show never fully dispels the question, Do we really need another safari through the high school jungle?..Still, Roland smoothly graduates to leading man here, and his solid characterization -- and excellent voice -- help hold the evening together.”
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August 13th, 2018

"Since 'Be More Chill' struck me from start to finish as woefully derivative, I was far from having the huge-arena-like fun so many ticket buyers around me were having. More than that, I was recoiling from the Iconis score...Salazar delivers a tour de force 'Michael in the Bathroom.' But for virtuosity, it’s not matched elsewhere by songs that require little more than belting, not to say bellowing."
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August 27th, 2018

"'Be More Chill' is an impressive musical version of Ned Vizzini's cult novel. Not only does it reproduce the plot on stage, it also gives it a high tech look that dramatizes the story where the novel left it to the imagination. Joe Iconis, long thought to be one of the most promising new theater composers, makes good on that promise, and Joe Tracz demonstrates for a second time that he can put difficult material on the stage."
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August 9th, 2018

"One of the most striking things about 'Be More Chill' is for all the hype, it feels immediately familiar. No matter how you remember high school, it still stands as a relatable playing field...Watching it I felt pure, uncomplicated joy, an emotion that theatre so often complicates. But at the same time a nagging voice was telling me that this musical isn’t exactly ground-breaking...But that's ok, because 'Be More Chill' is pure comfort food...Unassuming and fun; here, that’s enough."
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August 10th, 2018

"Joe Tracz’s witty adaptation of Ned Vizzini’s novel provides characters that are types and unique creations, who sing tunes by the wunderkind Joe Iconis that evoke multiple musical traditions and focus on smart, clear lyrics...Witness the rise and fall of adolescent yelps and screams of pleasure at their musical heroes and she-roes in a new musical written just for them. Thrill to the spark of originality in a universal growing-up story."
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August 9th, 2018

"Collectively the performers respond with zest and exuberance to director Stephen Brackett and to the modest demands of choreographer Chase Brock. A lengthy and labored Halloween bash, however, gets tiresome pretty quickly...For an audience that can make peace or at least a truce with the predictability of the plot and its resolve, the post rock score and lyrics that may be painful to some adult ears, this musical is smartly awash with teen-speak."
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August 10th, 2018

"As it turns out, the show is a blast...The work is catnip for theater kids and a dynamic dose of escapism for their parents. The storyline delivers a message of self-esteem without being preachy, primarily by barely knowing what it is talking about, and doing so with extreme confidence...Though these kids are archetypes, they have surprising depth...In a production boasting many strengths, the greatest is Iconis’s music...The music grabs you and does not let you go."
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September 19th, 2018

“It deserves every bit of the hyper hype it has accumulated...It’s a young and feisty ‘Mean Girls’ musical, mixed with the Sci-Fi out of this world ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, with a light outsider touch of a humorous ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ layered on top of its catchy soundtrack. With super strong and festive music and lyrics...and a compelling and comical book...This amazingly funny and charming show delivers the goods.”
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T
August 13th, 2018

"Few of the songs are memorable. However, 'Michael in the Bathroom' is perhaps the most carefully written and the most sensitively delivered by George Salazar. The cast is uniformly outstanding...The playwright does not give us enough exposition about the protagonist Jeremy or his best friend Michael...Tracz’s book and Iconis’s lyrics fail to address the depth of teenage angst and the tragic events that often erupt from deep despair and depression."
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August 9th, 2018

"Most notable is Mr. Roland who jumped from a supporting role in the original Broadway company of 'Dear Evan Hansen' to take on 'Be More Chill’s' central character. He anchors the 10-member ensemble with a humorous, emotionally charged performance, and while his vocal delivery hits decibel-shattering levels thanks to Ryan Rumery’s sound design, it lacks the color and nuance of some of his co-stars."
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C
August 9th, 2018

"Despite the committed work of a first-rate cast, a superbly polished technical production, and the lively direction of Stephen Brackett and choreography of Chase Brock, the 2 ½ hour show can too often feel like a cocktail made of equal parts 'Dear Evan Hansen,' 'Mean Girls' and, ultimately, 'Little Shop of Horrors' as concocted by an inexperienced mixologist."
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T
August 17th, 2018

"'Be More Chill' is a highly polished, high decibel, high school based entertainment whose score, while providing a few highlights, lacks sufficient variety to sustain interest. Similarly, its subject matter is neither engrossing nor witty enough to make its sci-fi take on conventional situations overcome its persistently sophomoric attitude. I'm sure, though, that the show's legions of fans would love to tell me I need to be more chill."
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August 9th, 2018

"You don’t have to be 15 to be thrilled by the best moments in the Off-Broadway production of 'Be More Chill,' a musical about high school, presented by a terrifically talented cast, that is too quirky and clever to be dismissed as a standard high school musical bestiary, But it might help to be a teenage fan in order to enjoy all two and a half hours of 'Be More Chill,' even those times when the music turns very loud and the story turns very weird."
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August 9th, 2018

“Brackett directs this piece with glee, mirth and energy galore...Iconis’ songs are catchy and go in places you don’t expect...Iconis’ music is made just that much better by up-and-coming orchestrator and band leader Charlie Rosen. ‘Be More Chill’ has a unique pop and electronica influenced score and Rosen gets the balance just right...Tracz’s book is predictable but it still has heart...Like ‘Dear Evan Hansen’, this show gets a rock show ending with audiences of all ages on their feet.”
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August 9th, 2018

"Unfortunately, The Squip fails to prevent Jeremy from making the most mundane rhymes when it comes to singing Joe Iconis’ repetitive score...Director Stephen Brackett takes the 'Spelling Bee' route in casting adult (often very adult) actors in the teenage roles. What was charming years ago in a far better musical comes off slightly sad here. These overwrought people on stage recall the street performers in nearby Times Square."
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W
August 10th, 2018

"Rock numbers are high energy and aptly juvenile, if musically unmemorable. Lyrics are idiomatically specific – Iconis completely 'gets' it, sometimes very clever, at others somewhat awkward and repetitive. None of this matters in the end. The sweep and relevancy of the piece is on target both with teens and the times...Tracz’s book makes sense, acting as ballast between fantastical events. Both writers handle compassion as well as they do youthful brutality...Quirkily entertaining and it works.”
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August 9th, 2018

"The songs of 'Be More Chill' are stellar, even if the lyrics are occasionally too pat. The script is loaded with corny jokes and hokey sentiments, but the plot offers a fun sci-fi twist on familiar conventions. I must say I enjoyed it...'Be More Chill' is a new sci-fi, pop-rock, satirical allegory of a musical for tweens and early teens, and probably not anyone else...The show is well-staged and performed, but remains an emotionally disengaging experience."
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August 9th, 2018

"'Be More Chill' is as confused and un-self-aware as a hormonal teenage boy — and nearly as reckless...The musical, with score by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz, considers frustrated male desire its primary problem in need of solving. Not by teaching its protagonist that he’s not entitled to the woman he wants, or that he should simply be himself and love will find a way, but by tempting him with a pill that helps him say all the rights things to score."
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August 17th, 2018

"Inventively combining retro-sci-fi and futuristic technology with pop-culture references, a high-voltage score and choreography, and a keen-witted understanding of the universal challenges of being a teen...Along with its high entertainment value, 'Be More Chill' offers key psychological insight into the mind and struggles of contemporary youth...It is a smart, funny, and compelling show that has the potential to make lifelong theatergoers out of the current generation."
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August 13th, 2018

"The award winning 'Hansen' is also about an unpopular teen’s fraudulent way of becoming more accepted, but it happens to have way more texture and subtlety...Joe Iconis has a few interesting songs, like 'The Pants Song,' but a lot of the score is sunk by 'moon/June' type lyrics, and there are two self-pitying numbers pretty close to each other...When 'Be More Chill' is clever, it’s fun, but in general, it needs to chill out."
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September 2nd, 2018

"If nothing else, this musical proves the power of the people...Perhaps the show just speaks to teenagers of this generation. Maybe it’s something in the songs or the book, or even in Brackett’s direction...What makes 'Be More Chill' most distinct is its science fiction element...Everyone is impressive, hilarious, and superbly talented...Not a show to ignore...The show may be somewhat immature, but it speaks to an entire generation, so it is clearly doing something right."
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September 2nd, 2018

"'Be More Chill' doesn’t see the need to endlessly mock Jersey when there are so many issues about high school life to examine...That 'Be More Chill' includes all the teen angst that’s been detailed in hundreds of properties before it isn’t a liability; all the issues still ring of truth...The show loses its way in the last 15 minutes, but Iconis and Tracz give us the confidence that they’re going to get it right as they continue to work on the show...Roland's giving the performance of the season."
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Z
August 17th, 2018

“I would love to report that 'Be More Chill' is a refreshing and exhilarating experience, but I found it frenetic and grating...The show itself is a bit shaky...Looks like a show struggling to find an identity of its own...Some of the drama of the story feels manufactured...The characters are clearly meant to be endearing, but they mostly come off as just whiny...Most problematic is the show’s denouement...Even by the belief-suspension standards of science fiction, this strains credulity.”
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August 9th, 2018

"Should the show make it to Broadway – where it seems, on the shoulders of its viral fanbase, to be headed – it could stand to cut a good deal of fat; some of book writer Joe Tracz’s punchlines were met with crickets, and the second act often gets in its own way, following whims that are ill-advised if not entirely random. But when the train seems about to derail, as it did a couple of times in the show’s last hour, 'Be More Chill' is salvaged by its hearty, charismatic performances."
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June 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"An energetic if still familiar-feeling new musical...The songs lean toward hyper up-tempo numbers, with singsong choruses. The more idiosyncratic songs are the fresher ones...Tracz’s book is along the same lines: predictable in its contours, occasionally quirky in its details...Hews so closely to formulaic stories of adolescent insecurities and the brutal ecology of high school that the quirky bits register as just that, little fillips of novelty adorning a boilerplate tale."
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June 12th, 2015
For a previous production

"The undoubtedly talented authors have sprinkled their musical...with the seeds for a clever and witty, small youth-oriented entertainment, and then surrounded them with a surfeit of sophomoric humor lacking in sense and, to me, sensitivity...The score is lively theatre rock with some ear-pleasing melodies, and the lyrics are filled with very clever rhymes...Although there are elements that people of all ages can take pleasure from in this musical, teenagers are the ideal audience."
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June 17th, 2015
For a previous production

"An updated delivery of the well-worn youth-directed mantra 'just be yourself'...The show has a split personality. Act one is a coherent laying out of the plot and characters, propelled nicely by the better half of the musical score...There’s little left to explore by the second, which seems haphazard, both in Stephen Brackett’s direction and cast execution...There is, however, enough rockin’ out in 'Be More Chill' to please its target audience."
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June 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"It’s a credit to all those involved that even though you can easily figure out where this is all going, 'Be More Chill' still feels fresh. With its easily relatable characters, clever twists, and ebullient songs, it engages you from beginning to end...It really helps that the secondary characters are fleshed out a bit...This is primarily an effervescent, feel-good musical, built around a sweet love story."
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