The company absolutely blew me away. The passion, energy, choreography, and talent transcended the book. The company did everything. During the opening number, I was amazed by the ease, speed, and accuracy that they transported us through countless stages, sets, and props. Their energy lasted through the entire show. The show is demanding, and this company was more than up to the challenge. I truly enjoyed seeing such a diverse cast. I loved that it was never brought up. It simply was. The casting reflected the landscape of schools and communities across America.
The detail of the props added such depth to the show. The notes within each locker and the detailed sets brought a level of realism to the stage.
That realism was directly contrasted to the technological dystopian staging. An animated circuit ominously framed the stage. At times, I felt like I was immersed in a dystopian nightmare ruled by technology, as I’m sure the BMC team intended. It’ll be interesting to see what changes in the Broadway transfer.
My real issue with the show stems from the larger cultural context. Though BMC is a musical about outsiders looking to fit in, the star/outsider is a straight white male who is angry that others do not recognize how cool he is and that his crush isn’t interested. He lives out his fantasies by becoming cool and hooking up with popular girls. At one point, his Squip forces him to drink so that he will be comfortable sleeping with a drunk popular girl. The story concludes with him getting everything he wants from getting the girl to becoming popular. Given the larger context of white male entitlement, this show seems out of place. Throughout the show, I kept asking myself is this the story that needs to be told.
Within my row, I counted 5 young adults dressed as Michael. As the show started, I realized that even more people were dressed as Jeremy and other assorted characters. Be More Chill transcended the stage. It is a cultural phenomena. A mom described her experience of bringing her teenage daughter to the show in a wonderful Medium post. It was an honor to be a part of that experience. I’m excited to see what the future holds for BMC.
Banner Photo Credit: Maria-Baranova