“Jagged Little Pill” plays at the The National Theatre this month, and it doesn’t shy away from the heavy themes — in both poignant and comedic ways.
You oughtta know that the national tour of Broadway’s “Jagged Little Pill” is coming to The National Theatre this month, running March 14 to 26. The ’90s are back in a big way. For original Alanis Morissette fans as well as those introduced to her music for the first time, the show has garnered attention and praise for its originality and pluck.
With a Tony-winning book by Diablo Cody (“Juno”) and Grammy-winning score (Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard), “Jagged Little Pill” follows the journey of a family learning that life has a funny way of sneaking up on you. The protagonists are confronted with weighty issues — sexual assault, addiction, mental health and identity among them.
“This show deals with a lot of really heavy stuff and through that there is so much comedy, there’s so much love, there’s so much joy — but there are topics everyone is going to relate to differently and we do go there with the material,” cast member Daniel Thimm says.
Thimm, a recent NYU graduate, grew up in the District, attending Georgetown Day School. Thimm credits his hometown community for fostering his creative spirit from a young age, and for giving him the space “to be this person that [they knew] he can be.” He is especially excited to share the show with them on his first national tour.
“It’s very progressive,” he says. “The show takes risks and it feels really good to be a part of something like that, to see a same sex couple holding hands on stage, or to see these painful conversations about addiction and mental health and having people confront them in a really powerful way.”
Many of the themes Morissette was bad-ass enough to write openly about on 1995’s “Jagged Little Pill” remain as relevant today as they were nearly 30 years ago when the album was released. But the show is neither portrait of the artist, nor a “making of” story, nor simply transferal of art from one medium to another. Thimm says that what it all comes down to is a new interpretation of Morissette’s work.
“There is so much of Alanis in there, but it’s also a completely new story,” he says. “And this show, it’s not your standard cookie-cutter show. Now I see the songs and I’m hearing them in this new context through these characters, and they carry a whole different meaning.”
Moral of the story? You live, you learn. And don’t be alarmed if you fall head over feet for this production of “Jagged Little Pill.”
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