Jagged Little Pill: An Unexpected Journey of Empowerment and Healing on the Philadelphia Stage

A journey of empowerment, healing and understanding awaits theater-goers in Philadelphia’s latest musical production. “Jagged Little Pill” has taken audiences by storm at the Academy of Music with its gripping portrayals of heartbreak, hardship and hope that echo through Alanis Morissette's iconic album. With deep dives into characters searching for identity, purpose and direction while tackling issues of substance abuse and racism, this emerging hit takes Broadway fans on an unexpected path toward self-discovery. Come along as we explore the power of love found in this amazing production!

“Jagged Little Pill” is a jukebox musical featuring Alanis Morissette’s groundbreaking hits. It interweaves the songs with the pain of the fictional Healy family and ultimately tells their story of healing and empowerment. The Healys appear to be an ideal suburban family – but when the cracks beneath them begin to surface, they must choose between maintaining the status quo, or face the jarring truth about themselves, their community, and the world around them.

Jagged Little Pill: An Unexpected Journey of Empowerment and Healing on the Philadelphia Stage 1
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Chris Hoch and Heidi Blickenstaff in the North American Tour of JAGGED LITTLE PILL –
photo by Matthew Murphy, Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Meet the Healy's. It's a family you probably already know. Their picture-perfect façade that hides their inner struggles. Mary Jane numbs her emotional trauma with pills while Steve succumbs to the pressures of work through addiction. Nick's moral convictions are tested when his friend is accused of rape and Frankie grapples with racial identity issues as she discovers herself and her sexuality. Despite these difficulties, each member finds solace in burying it beneath appearances until only rebellious teen Frankie rebels against them all by any means possible – be it picketing or outbursts -to bring real change within their seemingly perfect life before they reach breaking point!

Jagged Little Pill: An Unexpected Journey of Empowerment and Healing on the Philadelphia Stage 2
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Jade McLeod and Lauren Chanel in the North American Tour of JAGGED LITTLE PILL –
photo by Matthew Murphy, Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Frankie (Lauren Chanel), stole hearts as her performance was so real! Her captivating portrayal of a young woman searching for identity, purpose and direction while dealing with racism and heartbreak had everyone praising her ability to bring Morissette's iconic album to life.

Chanel brings a unique energy to the stage that allows viewers to connect with her character on a deep level. She uses her powerful voice and emotionally charged expressions to convey both the sorrows and joys that Frankie experiences throughout her journey. From raw moments of pain and vulnerability to triumphant scenes of self-empowerment, Chanel captures each nuance with grace and authenticity. Her passion for the theater is evident in every moment she is on stage, leaving you feeling inspired and moved long after the show ends.

Jagged Little Pill: An Unexpected Journey of Empowerment and Healing on the Philadelphia Stage 3
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps (L to R) Heidi Blickenstaff, Allison Sheppard and Jena VanElslander in the North American Tour of JAGGED LITTLE PILL.
Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade, 2022.jpg

The ensemble and stage displays made this performance electrifying and powerful. Each movement showcased a different emotion and the audience felt it. Who knew that tackling difficult topics like addiction, mental health, and sexual assault, could be done in such a physical way that is both honest and relatable. Despite the heavy subject matter, it is ultimately a story of hope and resilience. It’s a reminder that no matter how broken we may feel, we all have the potential for healing and growth.

This musical is definitely a must see!

This show is recommended for ages 14 and up.  

Please note: This production contains strong language, adult themes, drug use, and moments of sexual violence that some may find triggering. Jagged Little Pill addresses many topics of contemporary life, including sexual assault, opiate addiction, transracial adoption, gender and LGBTQIA+ identity, marriage struggles and mental health. Read on for some additional context that will help set the stage as you experience this Tony and Grammy Award-winning new musical.

Please visit http://www.jaggedlittlepill.com/resources to learn more about the show’s partner organizations, who have countless resources that speak to the many topics covered in the show. 

Tickets are on sale now and the show runs from January 3 -15th at the Kimmel Cultural Campus, Academy of Music.

ironic tonic sign showcasing drink available during Jagged Little Pill
TomikaTalks | Life in Pumps Enjoy during the show or after at Volver

The Kimmel Cultural Campus will offer a special “Ironic Tonic” for the show run, a $9 cocktail of cinnamon whiskey, maple syrup, cinnamon syrup, club soda and lemon juice.

History of Jagged Little Pill

Jagged Little Pill officially opened on Broadway on December 5, 2019, at the Broadhurst Theatre after beginning previews November 3. Prior to Broadway, Jagged Little Pill completed a record-breaking, sold-out run at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) in Cambridge, Mass. The pre-Broadway world premiere production ran for 79 sold-out performances, from May 5 – July 15, 2018, marking the longest-running and highest-grossing production in A.R.T.’s history. Jagged Little Pill concluded its award-winning Broadway run on December 17, 2021, after playing 36 previews and 171 performances. That same month, the production made its international debut in Australia at Theatre Royal Sydney.

Heidi Blickenstaff (she/her) will reprise her role from the Broadway production as Mary Jane Healy; she is joined by Lauren Chanel (she/her) as Frankie Healy, Chris Hoch (he/him) as Steve Healy and Dillon Klena (he/him) as Nick Healy. The cast also includes Jade McLeod (they/them) as Jo and Allison Sheppard (she/her) as Bella.

The ensemble includes Lee H. Alexander (he/him), Delaney Brown (she/they), Jada Simone Clark (she/her), Lani Corson (she/her), Rishi Golani (he/him), Jason Goldston (he/they), Zach Hess (he/him), Cydney Kutcipal (they/them), Jordan Leigh McCaskill (they/she), Alana Pollard (she/they), Daniel Thimm (he/him), Kei Tsuruharatani (she/they), and Jena Van Elslander. Maya J. Christian (she/her), Claire Crause (she/her), Sean Doherty (he/him), and Charles P. Way (he/him) join the cast as swings.

Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (she/her; Waitress, Pippin)Jagged Little Pill is an “electrifying, visceral and stunning” (The Hollywood Reporter) musical with an original story by Tony and Academy Award-winning writer Diablo Cody (she/her; Juno, Tully). Nominated for 15 Tony Awards following its Broadway premiere, The New York Times declared the show “redemptive, rousing and real… Jagged Little Pill stands alongside the original musicals thathave sustained the best hopes of Broadway.”

Jagged Little Pill features explosive choreography by Tony Award nominee and frequent Beyoncé collaborator Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (he/him; “Apesh*t,” “Love Drought/Sandcastles” Live at The Grammys), and the raw power of an onstage band under the Musical Supervision, Orchestrations & Arrangements of Grammy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt (he/him; Next to Normal, American Idiot).

The Jagged Little Pill creative team includes Tony-nominated Scenic Designer Riccardo Hernandez (he/him; Parade), Tony-nominated Costume Designer Emily Rebholz (she/her; Dear Evan Hansen), Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Justin Townsend (he/him; Moulin Rouge!), Tony-nominated Sound Designer Jonathan Deans (he/him; Waitress), and Tony- nominated Video Designer Lucy Mackinnon (she/her; Spring Awakening). Hair, Wig, and Make- up Design is provided by J. Jared Janas (he/him; Sunset Boulevard).

Released on June 13, 1995, the success of Alanis Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill skyrocketed Morissette, a Canadian, to become the bestselling international debut artist in history, a title she still holds, with the record’s sales reaching 33 million copies worldwide. Now, even 25 years after its initial release, Jagged Little Pill continues to be one of the Top 20 Best- Selling Albums of All Time. With ten eclectic and acclaimed albums released over the subsequent years, Morissette’s music has garnered 7 Grammy Awards (with 14 nominations), a Golden Globe nomination, and total sales of over 60 million albums.

In 2019, Atlantic Records partnered with the Broadway production for the release of its Original Broadway Cast Recording, adding the show to the label’s elite roster of Grammy Award-winning artists and cast albums. The cast album for Jagged Little Pill was officially released on December 6, 2019 – the day after the show’s opening night on Broadway – and won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.

In the fall of 2020, the musical garnered a season-leading 15 Tony Nominations – including Best Musical – and Grand Central Publishing released a coffee table book that followed the journey of Jagged Little Pill to Broadway, with behind-the-scenes photos and stories from Alanis Morissette, Diablo Cody, the cast, and more. Following the show’s big Grammy Award win in 2021, Jagged Little Pill also won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Diablo Cody) and Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Lauren Patten).

Welcome to my home on the web... I’m Tomika, the thought leader behind Life in Pumps. I love all things fashion, fun & travel! I’m a wife and mother of two very active teenagers. I'm a social butterfly and passionate about advocating for breast cancer disparities and the benefits of organics. Follow along as I believe life is more fun when you actually live it!

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