You oughta know — a stage musical built around Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill album is officially a go.
The singer-songwriter’s iconic 1995 album will be the basis of a production debuting at Cambridge’s American Repertory in May 2018. Directed by Diane Paulus (Waitress), the show will include orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and a book by Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Juno who also co-created the series United States of Tara and One Mississippi. It will be Cody’s stage debut.
“This team that has come together for this Jagged Little Pill musical is my musical theatre dream come true,” said Morissette in a statement. “The chemistry between all of us is crackling and I feel honored to be diving into these songs again, surrounded by all of this searing talent. Diablo and Diane are already taking these deeply personal songs that are part of my soul’s marrow to a whole other level of hope, freedom and complexity.”
Created by Cody in close creative consultation with Morissette, the show’s storyline revolves around a modern, multigenerational family and their complex dynamics, touching on issues of gender identity and race. Songs from Morissette’s groundbreaking album like “Ironic” and “Hand in My Pocket” will be performed in the musical, which will also feature melodies lifted from elsewhere in the singer’s extensive body of work.
“I am so excited to tell a modern story through these iconic songs. Alanis’s music is full of powerful narratives that lend themselves organically to this process,” said Cody. Added Paulus, “Jagged Little Pill defined a generation and yet the raw, emotional honesty of Alanis‘ songs feels more needed now than ever.”
Released in 1995, Jagged Little Pill was co-written with Glen Ballard and has sold more than 33 million copies worldwide to date. The album won five Grammy Awards out of nine nominations, including Album of the Year, making Morissette the youngest artist in history to receive the honor at the time.
A.R.T.’s staging of Jagged Little Pill is produced by special arrangement with Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price. While the show, development of which was first announced in 2013, is believed to be eyeing an eventual Broadway bow, no official plans have been confirmed at this stage.