The Musical That Gen Z Needs: ‘Be More Chill’

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Published April 24, 2019
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The Montclarion

During summer 2017, I was driving to Menlo Park Mall and a random song came on my shuffle playlist on Spotify. The song was called “More Than Survive” from an off-Broadway show called “Be More Chill,” which I instantly fell in love with. Then, I found out the show was originally performed at Two River Theater in New Jersey back in 2015 and it had ended production.

I was saddened, thinking that I would never get a chance to see this show, but a week later, Exit 82 Theatre started selling tickets for their production of “Be More Chill,” and I bought tickets for my friends before it sold out.

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“Be More Chill” was first an off-Broadway show, and due to high demand it was brought back to life.
Photo courtesy of Be More Chill Musical

The show was exactly what I expected it to be, and I told myself that if I got the chance to see the show again, I would buy tickets in a heartbeat. That’s how much I loved it.

Two years passed and the creators announced that the show would be on Broadway in the Lyceum Theatre starting in March 2019 after huge fan demand.

My friend was going to see the show with her class from Middlesex County College and informed me that she had an extra free ticket. I screamed with excitement upon finding out that I was given another chance to see the show, now on Broadway.

“Be More Chill” by songwriter Joe Iconis and book writer Joe Tracz, based on the 2004 novel by Ned Vizzini, is a musical about an awkward high school geek named Jeremy. The storyline develops when he takes a grey pill that contains a Japanese Nano supercomputer known as a “SQUIP.” The computer implants itself into Jeremy’s brain and tells him what to do and how to “be more chill” in order to become more popular and noticeable.

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The “SQUIP,” played by Jason Tam, is a Nano supercomputer only seen by Jeremy Heere that helps him become popular.
Photo courtesy of Be More Chill Musical

“Be More Chill” is like a combination of “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” The music is electrifying, uplifting, energetic and my favorite part of the show. The audience was shaking their heads to the beat and getting immersed in the music during songs like “Two-Player Game.” In this number, the stage turned into a video game screen and the main characters Jeremy and his best friend Michael play their favorite game.

Another big hit was the track titled “The Smartphone Hour,” which was the biggest musical number and had outstanding choreography.

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‘The Smartphone Hour’ is the longest and most energetic number of the entire musical.
Photo courtesy of Be More Chill Musical

The music was my favorite part of the show and has definitely upgraded from its off-Broadway performances. The songs had been changed a bit and are even more catchy and nostalgic. The Broadway version even added new songs to make the story flow more smoothly.

One of the new songs is “Loser Geek Whatever,” which brings a strong and emotional ending to act one. Another song that has become a fan favorite and personal favorite of mine is “Michael in the Bathroom,” where Michael sings about how his best friend Jeremy forgets his existence. This song had the audience in tears and sniffling throughout the performance.

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Michael Mell, played by George Salazar, performs the musical number “Michael in the Bathroom.”
Photo courtesy of Be More Chill Musical

Not only does the musical show parts of high school that everyone goes through, like trying to fit in, wanting to impress someone you like, feeling like an outcast and even losing a good friend along the way, but it also shows deep messages on how technology is taking over our society.

Jeremy tries to be like one of the popular kids with the help of the supercomputer “SQUIP,” but what’s so fun about being just like everyone else when he’s not being himself and letting the “SQUIP” take over?

The subconscious message of this show is something that I feel a majority of people can relate to, especially students in middle school and high school. Many people are immersed in their phones and always comparing themselves to others because of social media. People try to act differently in order to fit in, but what’s the point of it if it means being the same as everyone else? “Be More Chill” shows us that the people who are different or called “weird” are the heroes in the end.

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Jeremy Heere tries to impress the girl of his dreams, Christine Canigula, in “Be More Chill.”
Photo courtesy of Be More Chill Musical

I would definitely recommend “Be More Chill” to everyone. This show is not only eccentric but extremely relevant to our culture. This is the perfect show to watch with a group of friends and family. Not only will it bring laughter, tears and excitement, but it will also have the audience on the edge of their seats with the science fiction twist “Be More Chill” adds.

For more information on musical schedules and buying tickets, visit http://bemorechillmusical.com/.

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