Alanis Morissette’s 90s Album Jagged Little Pill Is Being Reinvented Through Theatre
If you’re a ’90s kid (or a grown adult) you certainly remember Alanis Morissette’s angsty and iconic 1995 Jagged Little Pill. It probably carried you through at least one breakup, real or imagined (“like meeting the man of your dreams, then meeting his beautiful wife”). You’re not alone. With the help of an award-winning team of heavy hitters, the album is being made into a musical. The Canadian-born singer is working with Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody, who will be taking on plot duties, Tony-winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland), who will direct, and Tom Kitt (Green Day musical American Idiot), who will take care of orchestrations and arrangements.
The play, which will premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachussetts, next year, will not detail Morissette’s own life–despite the autobiographical nature of the album. Instead, the story will centre around a multi-generation modern family, touching on “issues of gender identity and race,” and, hopefully, the many varied meanings of the word ‘ironic.’
“This team that has come together for this Jagged Little Pill musical is my musical theatre dream come true,” Morissette said in a statement. “The chemistry between all of us is crackling and I feel honoured to be diving into these songs again, surrounded by all of this searing talent.”
She said Cody and Paulus are already taking the songs that are so deeply personal to her to another level of “hope, freedom and complexity.”
Paulus added, “Jagged Little Pill defined a generation and yet the raw, emotional honesty of Alanis’ songs feels more needed now than ever.”
The album has previously earned five Grammy Awards and has sold over 33 million copies around the world. Songs Ironic, You Oughta Know and Hand in My Pocket, co-written by Glen Ballard, are confirmed tracks. Morissette’s larger body of work will also come to life in the musical.
Jagged Little Pill is not the first album to be turned into a Broadway show, of course. Most of us are familiar with the time Green Day brought their 2004 pop-punk album American Idiot to the stage in 2010—it was a pretty big deal. Now there’s news that HBO wants to move further with the album with plans to make it into a film adaptation.