All tagged Stephen Brackett
Two new Off-Broadway musicals that are marquee productions of the summer experiment with form and content in exciting ways that portend well for the future of the art form. Unique for musicals, both are also the product of a single author. Here I take a look at Michael R. Jackson’s “A Strange Loop” at Playwrights Horizons andDave Malloy’s “Octet” at Signature Theatre.
Tween science-fiction, pop-rock sensation “Be More Chill” makes the leap to Broadway and gets an upgrade in the process with a snazzier production design and revised score and script that give it a clearer narrative and a more even tone. Relentlessly hyperactive, broad, and sophomoric, it still lacks the sophistication, polish, and emotional resonance of its high school musical peers, but it is infectiously fun.
“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. Based on a 2004 novel about a high school loser who swallows a pill-sized computer that makes him cool, the show is well-staged and performed, but remains an emotionally disengaging experience. Willed into production re-existence on the strength of its international, online teenage fanbase, expect to be hearing about it for some time to come.