A Look Back at the Wonderful Oddity That Was Be More Chill

Be More Chill Lyceum Theatre

We here at TPE rarely report on shows closing, but we saw this as an opportunity to report on the amazing strange story that brought Be More Chill to Broadway this year.

Be More Chill started with a typical pre-Broadway tryout at the Two Rivers Theatre in New Jersey. It was not reviewed well and any potential Broadway plans were shut down. This is typically where the story of a musical would end, failing to pick up any producers after a tryout. But, unlike most failed tryouts, Be More Chill got a cast album.

Now, the musical would remain in relative obscurity for the next few years, until a combination of factors led to the popularity of this musical to explode amongst teenagers and young adults online. One reason for this would be the availability of a cast album, making the music accessible to people all around the world. The other was a well known unauthorized recording of the musical, known as a bootleg, that recorded up unto the entrance of the Squip.

This led the musical to explode online, specifically on Tumblr where it became the second most popular musical on the platform behind only Hamilton.

Be More Chill Cast Board Broadway

Naturally, sensing the popularity and potential profitability, producers quickly became attached to a new Off-Broadway mounting of the musical. It featured many of the same cast members of the original production, while also showcasing new actors in the roles of The SQUIP, Jeremy, Jeremy's dad, Jenna Roland, and Jake.

This production quickly sold out, was extended, then sold out again. As a result of the success of this production, a Broadway mounting of the musical was planned, as well as a still forthcoming film version.

The Broadway version then opened to mixed reviews but was able to stay open due to its large, young fanbase. Be More Chill even planned special performances on Wednesday nights after the show. It only got one Tony nomination, for the score by Joe Iconis, meaning it would not even get to perform on the ceremony.

But the musical still made it to the ceremony, with host James Corden performing a parody of the shows most popular song, Michael in the Bathroom in the middle of the ceremony along with several prior hosts of the show (although the show was not mentioned in this performance Corden later gave credit through his Twitter account).

Be More Chill Curtain Call Broadway

Unfortunately, not winning any Tonys, the show announced it would be closing on August 11th. Now, once again I would say that this would normally be the end of the show. But at this point who knows. Be More Chill has made it past all of its struggles and broken most pre-established rules of how to get to Broadway. The film version is likely still in play and who knows what could come next for this musical.

Did you get a chance to see this musical? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments and thanks for reading this special (not on Thursday) theater article.