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Isn’t It Ironic? The ‘Jagged Little Pill’ Company on the Irony in the Musical

December 5, 2019 by Joe Dziemianowicz
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The company of “Jagged Little Pill” on Broadway. (Photographed by Matthew Murphy)

“Jagged Little Pill” is now rocking on Broadway in advance of its Dec 5 opening. Even if you’re not among the 33 million people who bought Alanis Morissette’s 1995 Grammy-winning album that inspired this new musical about the troubled Healy family, you’ll probably still walk into the Broadhurst Theatre humming the hits.

Yes, the songs are that well-known. Including “Ironic,” in which the Canadian singer-songwriter addresses the unexpected peculiarities of life, noting: “It’s like rain on your wedding day. It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid.”

And, it’s like winning an Academy Award for the screenplay of “Juno” and still being unsure of yourself as an author. That’s one of the twists TodayTix discovered when we asked members of creative team and cast to share what’s been ironic about working on this project.

Get tix to “Jagged Little Pill” on Broadway!

Diane Paulus (Director)
Twentysome years ago I listened to ‘Jagged Little Pill’ and it spoke to a generation. It’s ironic that we’re able to pick up this album that was so iconic in its time, the ’90s, and experience it as if it was written yesterday for today. It’s ironic that my 14-year-old never heard of Alanis Morisette and is now obsessed.

Diablo Cody, Alanis Morissette, and Diane Paulus. (Photographed by Matthew Murphy)

Diablo Cody (Book writer)
I grew up near Chicago and when tours of Broadway shows came through town we’d go see them. But I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be a part of this world, Broadway, because it always just felt like another sphere. Yes, winning an Oscar (for “Juno”) opened a lot of doors, but I just didn’t have the confidence in myself. I’d never written anything for the stage and you can’t just dive into Broadway. But when I got approached about this I just had to do it.

Elizabeth Stanley in “Jagged Little Pill” on Broadway. (Photographed by Matthew Murphy)

Elizabeth Stanley (Mary Jane Healy)
I’m not a mom yet, but what’s ironic about this project is that I feel the most comfortable playing a mother compared to any of the other roles I’ve played. Most of us grow up with a mom. And so we all know what that character is like.

Celia Rose Gooding and the company of “Jagged Little Pill” on Broadway. (Photographed by Matthew Murphy)

Celia Rose Gooding (Frankie Healy)
I am really really lucky to be telling this story and also living this story. I was very much a black girl going to a predominantly white high school trying to find her identity, and I find it really ironic that the role I’m playing is so eerily similar me. The place we meet and mirror each other the most is being black women in white communities. And that is something that we’re both working on.

Lauren Patten and the company of “Jagged Little Pill” on Broadway. (Photographed by Matthew Murphy)

Lauren Patten (Jo)
I didn’t realize how well I knew the album until we did the first reading. It’s part of our cultural consciousness. Also, I recently was heading to a wedding in the Adirondacks, and it was threatening to rain. I was so ready to sing “Ironic.”