Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Clever, Great staging

About the show

This New York premiere musical is 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.

... Read 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.


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92
Front Row Center

"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." Full Review

90
Theatermania

"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." Full Review

85
The Wall Street Journal

"'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.'" Full Review

85
AM New York

"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." Full Review

85
Times Square Chronicles

“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.” Full Review

85
Theatre is Easy

"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." Full Review

85
Theater Pizzazz

"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." Full Review

80
Woman Around Town

"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 wor... Full Review

80
Variety

"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." Full Review

75
The Hollywood Reporter

"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." Full Review

75
DC Theatre Scene

"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." Full Review

75
Broadway Blog

"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." Full Review

75
Stage Left

"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." Full Review

65
CurtainUp

"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." Full Review

60
Lighting & Sound America

“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.” Full Review

60
The Observer

"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." Full Review

60
Theatre Reviews Limited

"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." Full Review

60
NewNowNext.com

"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." Full Review

60
The Guardian (UK)

"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." Full Review

55
The New York Times

"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." Full Review

55
New York Stage Review

"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." Full Review

55
CitiTour

"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." Full Review

45
Towleroad

"'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." Full Review

30
The Wrap

"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." Full Review

80
NJArts.net

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." Full Review


100
Epic, Must see, Great staging, Great score, Amazing cast

See it if Brilliant score, Incredible talent, and "IT'S FROM JAPAN!"

Don't see it if You're a SQUIP!

100
Funny, Ambitious, Epic, Masterful, Quirky

See it if you already know & love the show: you will love it more. and if you know nothing about it: go and fall in love

Don't see it if you prefer traditional theatre over new, fun musicals

90
Delightful, Enchanting, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if It is fun, fun, fun. . Nothing deep but it relates to High School. life today and forever. Special talent by Salazar and Roland &Tam..

Don't see it if Always a full house. Noise may be too much for some "older" folks. Many parents hung out in the lobby Tickets are hard to get..

90
Clever, Delightful, Resonant, Hilarious, Great singing

See it if Ever felt like an outcast. Fan of any of the actors; they all shine here. Implanted the cast recording to your brain and it tells you to.

Don't see it if You didn't manage to get a ticket before they sold out. Really no other reason not to. :D

Also Super fun show! Thats not to say it isnt without its flaws but most of... Read more Read less

88
Funny, Clever, Dizzying, Enchanting, Quirky

See it if You want to see the next big thing.terrific cast, music and experience!

Don't see it if You can’t remeber high school at all.

88
Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if a high-energy brightly colored (costumes & scenery) show about teenage angst and popularity with a sort of sci-fi element; mostly sung

Don't see it if you don't like loud (the fellow next to me did not). The music can be loud especially in some of the ensemble numbers.

Also A higher energy version of Dear Evan Hansen & (I couldn't put my finge... Read more Read less

86
Ambitious, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You're a huge fan of the album (you won't be disappointed) and you'd love to see a ridiculously talented cast working their asses off!

Don't see it if You expect an emotionally developed show, a super well written book, or can't handle extremely loud music. Also maybe you're just grumpy?

Also The score and the cast are the stars. Joe's music is energetic, frenet... Read more Read less

85
Edgy, Quirky, Relevant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like sci-fi elements, neat sets, and great costumes. Go for Gerard Canonico and Stephanie Hsu alone.

Don't see it if you can't stand annoying teen audiences, talks of sex or suicide upset you, really loud audio or shows revolving around high schools

Also Saw the Aug 5th 730PM performance. It's 2 hrs and 30 min with a 15 min... Read more Read less

79
Quirky, Relevant, Loud, Exuberant, Teen-tuned

See it if You like stories about high school and teenage life. Want to see some fine young performers having a great time.

Don't see it if Struggle with loud music and teen-oriented content.

72
Quirky

See it if You're a high school kid with a lot of angst (even my college age daughters thought it skewed younger than them) or if you hid at parties.

Don't see it if If don't have any contact with teens. You will be baffled. Also don't see if you dislike casual references to masturbation and marijuana.

100
Masterful, Must see, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you're finally ready for a hilarious, worthy successor to " Little Shop of Horrors" with multiple star- making performances

Don't see it if You have no interest in contemporary rock musicals with an emphasis on teen angst--BUT see it anyway

Also Those who discovered the cast album after the 2015 limited run will no... Read more Read less

92
Ambitious, Must see, Refreshing, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You’re looking for a refreshing adaptation of if you remember the awkwardness of high school!

Don't see it if You have trouble connecting with the ideals of today’s youth

81
Great acting, Entertaining, High energy, Crowd pleasing, Loudx2 (music and audience)

See it if you want to experience youthful exuberance, you want to hear some heartfelt teenage angst through quirky and well embodied songs.

Don't see it if you’re not interested in what a mash-up of Mean Girls, Little Shop, and Damn Yankees set in modern times high school might be like.

Also There is one scene that I had very mixed emotions about: in act two du... Read more Read less

75
Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if You have ever felt like a loser...or human.

Don't see it if You don't like loud music or watch the CW. You'll feel like you're surrounded by a group of groupies at their favorite pop stars concert.

Also Clever premise much like the CBS show "Limitless and the feature of th... Read more Read less

100
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you remember being a teenager and the social awkwardness of navigating the halls of high school.

Don't see it if you like being grumpy.

Also One big entertainment feast. Great singing, acting, writing, sets, etc... Read more Read less

100
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great writing, Great staging

See it if see it if...you have kids...especially teenagers. See it if ...you are a kid. See it if you want to be thoroughly entertained.

Don't see it if you cannot accept the times we are in - or cannot understand the challenges, difficulties and realities kids are facing

100
During previews
Funny, Entertaining, Great music

See it if You enjoy the musical vibes similar to that of Pasek & Paul.

Don't see it if You're expecting a profoundly moving musical. The story is predictable and has a very "high-school I want to be popular" feel.

100
During previews
Delightful, Quirky, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You are a fan of Joe Iconis, love the community aspect of the ny theater scene, and want to see a show before it transfers to broadway

Don't see it if You are a terrible person who doesn’t appreciate great new theater

100
During previews
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You love VERY catchy tunes, a VERY clever & funny story, that feels very fresh and like something new!

Don't see it if you don't want to hear about teenagers.

Also This show means so much to so many young people. It's a hilarious, cle... Read more Read less

100
During previews
Ambitious, Enchanting, Epic, Refreshing, Hilarious

See it if you like fun, funny, innovative musicals written with millennials in mind.

Don't see it if you only enjoy traditional musical theater.

100
During previews
Great acting, Must see, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to see what the hype is all about.

Don't see it if You didn’t like Heathers or Dear Evan Hansen.

96
During previews
Delightful, Great acting, Intense, Must see, Hilarious

See it if You've read the book and want to see it come to life. Also, if you need an uplifting perspective on life.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy the whole "unpopular kid at school just trying to fit in" bit.

Also The actors were absolutely phenomenal! When little mishaps occurred (l... Read more Read less

94
During previews
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You are looking for something clever with alot of heart. Not your traditional show, but so much fun and so worth it.

Don't see it if You enjoy traditional shows and ballads and you have traditional beliefs

92
During previews
Funny, Clever, Relevant, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You enjoyed dear Evan Hansen, Little shop of horrors, and enjoyed a musical with a great sense of humor and social message

Don't see it if You prefer plays and or musicals with more serious music

91
During previews
Clever, Resonant, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to see what a high school angst musical could look like without dancing cafeteria trays , delightfully infectious

Don't see it if You're feed up with the problems facing adolescents or are just a grump.


Cast & Creatives (22)