Be More Chill Broadway Review

Be More Chill Broadway Review

Image Courtesy of

Christopher Ocker, Staff Writer

The story of Be More Chill’s journey to Broadway has been a strange one. Starting as a show at the Two River Theatre in 2015, the musical has accumulated a huge online following through its soundtrack. That popularity has helped push the show onto Broadway. All of this hype is well warranted as Be More Chill is one of the most unique and refreshing shows on Broadway right now.

Be More Chill follows Jeremy Heere, a high school junior, who wants to stop being a social outcast and fit in. Jeremy learns about a new piece of technology called a SQUIP, a supercomputer that comes in a pill that connects itself to the user’s brain and tells them how to act. Jeremy takes this pill and begins to integrate himself into the high school, much to the detriment of his close relationships. Although the plot is a very generic high school drama, in essence, the story remains interesting because of this technological twist. Having the SQUIP be a character on stage that only Jeremy sees is a very original way to portray this idea. The usual themes of self-acceptance and the role technology plays in modern life all feel truly realized because of the SQUIP. The lighting and the electric soundtrack maintain this unique charm that the show has even when the plot itself is stale and predictable.

What Be More Chill excels at is its characters. Nearly every single one, including the supporting cast, has been fully realized by their actors and actresses. Particularly memorable performances are George Salazar as Michael, Jeremy’s super nerdy best friend, and Stephanie Hsu as Christine, Jeremy’s crush who loving doing the school play. This is especially noticeable in the soundtrack. Most characters get their own solos that allow their personalities and feelings to shine brighter than the sun. “Loser Geek Whatever,” “Michael in the Bathroom,” and “I Love Play Rehearsal” are all fantastic songs that have a huge payoff, whether that be emotional or comedic. Even songs as ridiculous as “The Pants Song” are enjoyable since the actors are working overtime to make this show entertaining. However, this means that many of the ensemble numbers like “Halloween” and “Sync Up” are very underwhelming since they do not feature any charm that the individual characters possess.

Overall, Be More Chill is a surprisingly great show. While its plot may not be ground-breaking and the songs don’t always hit, the amount of passion put into this musical is seen through the phenomenal performances. While it is certainly not a show for everyone, I would highly recommend it if you want a strange but interesting take on the typical high school drama.