“BE MORE CHILL”

Reporting by Maddie Orton.

The musical that became an internet sensation is headed to Broadway. We have the buzz about “Be More Chill.”

Aired on September 12, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

HI, I'M MATTIE ORTON.

HIGH SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION AND THE SAME CHALLENGES THAT PERENNIALLY FACE TEENAGERS ARE BACK WITH IT.

HOW TO GET GOOD GRADES.

HOW TO TALK TO CRUSHES, FEEL K4RUD.

WELL, WHAT IF THERE WAS A PILL STUDENTS COULD TAKE THAT COULD PROVIDE ALL THE ANSWERS?

THAT'S THE PREMISE OF THE POP ROCK MUSICAL BE MORE CHILL.

NOW PLAYING OFF BROAD WAIT AT SIGNATURE THEATER AND FANS CAN'T GET ENOUGH.

HERE'S THE STORY.

> FOR FANS OF THE MUSICAL BE MORE AND CHILL, THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN OFF BROADWAY RUN AT NEW YORK CITY SIGNATURE THEATER WAS A DREAM COME TRUE.

THAT'S BECAUSE WHILE COUNTLESS YOUNG FANS HAVE OBSESSED OVER THE SCORE, CHARACTERS AND MESSAGE, YOU HAVE ACTUALLY SEEN IT.

GOOD MORNING.

TIME TO START THE DAY.

KA-KA-KA-KA COME ON.

THE POP ROCK MUSICAL BASED ON A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL WITH THE SAME TITLE HAD A LIMITED FOUR-WEEK RUN AT NEW JERSEY'S TWO RIVER THEATER BACK IN 2015.

MET WITH MILD REVIEWS, THE SHOW WAS PERFORMED BY ONLY A COUPLE DOZEN MOSTLY NON-PROFESSIONAL THEATER COMPANIES IN THE THREE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED.

BUT AWAY FROM THE FOOT LIGHTS, A CULT FOLLOWING BEGAN TO BUBBLE UP ONLINE.

THE CATCHY CAST ALBUM FROM TWO RIVER THEATERS PRODUCTION INSPIRED FAN ART AND SONG COVERS ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

THE RESULT?

A DIE-HARD FAN BASE FOR A MUSICAL TO WHICH MOST PEOPLE 8 COULDN'T BUY A TICKET.

ONLY LISTEN TO AN ALBUM AND IMAGINE.

WE LISTENED TO THE CAST ALBUM.

THERE'S A LOT OF INTERNET CRAZE ABOUT THE SHOW.

A LOT OF US LISTEN TO THE SOUND TRACK AND GET IN ON SITES LIKE INSTAGRAM, TUMBLER.

MY FRIEND SAID THERE WAS ART ON TUMBLER, IT GOT FAMOUS AND IT SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE.

I LISTENED OVER THE SUMMER AND GOT A TIKTED.

9 RECORDING HAS BEEN STREAMED MORE THAN 160 MILLION TIMES.

SO WITH NO SURPRISE THE OFF BROADWAY RUN AT SIGNATURE THEATERS SOLD OUT BEFORE IT OPENED, WAS EXTENDED BY A WEEK AND SOLD OUT AGAIN IN A MATTER OF HOURS.

THE SHOW FOCUSES ON A HIGH SCHOOL NOBODY NAMED JEREMY WHO JUST WANTS TO GET BY WITHOUT BEING BULLIED AND MAYBE EVEN CONNECT WITH HIS CRUSH CHRISTINE.

IT'S A CLASSIC COMING OF AGE TALE WITH TIE LOG THAT FEELS REALISTIC.

AND WHEN BE MORE CHILL TAKES A DECIDEDLY UNREALISTIC SCI-FI TURN, IT SETTLES INTO CARTOONY IN A WAY THAT APPEALS TO YOUNG PEOPLE.

♪ EVERYTHING OF VALUE IS GOING TO BE ♪ ♪

PROTAGONIST JEREMY TAKES WHAT IS LITERALLY A CHILL PILL, A SUPER QUANTUM UNIT PROCESSOR.

IT IMPLANTS IN HIS BRAIN AND TELLS HIM HOW TO ACT WHICH SOUNDS LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE FOR A TEENAGE OUT CAST.

OF COURSE THINGS GO AWRY.

HUHABLE SONGS AND EYE CATCHING COSTUMES, CHAVEZ SUAREZ CAME DIRECTLY TO THE THEATER FROM THE AIRPORT.

HE AND HIS FAMILY FLEW IN FROM CALIFORNIA TO SEE THE SHOW FOR HIS 15th BIRTHDAY.

HOW EXCITED IS HE?

ON A SCALE FROM 1 TO 15, A 15.

I BEGGED MY MOM TO COME FOR MY BIRTHDAY.

WE ALL WORKED TOGETHER.

WE SOLD CAKES TO GET HERE.

YEAH, LIKE THEY DID A LOT OF HELP, THEY WORKED A LOT TO GET HERE, TOO.

IT'S A BIG THING AMONG THEATER KIDS ESPECIALLY, THEATER TEENS.

IN TOWN FROM ILLINOIS, SHE'S SEEING THE SHOW WITH HER MOM.

SHE'S ALSO A THEATER TEEN.

SHE CAME IN COSTUME.

PLAYING THE CHARACTER MICHAEL, JEREMY'S BEST FRIEND.

THE THING I LOVE ABOUT THE SHOW, IT'S, IT'S REALLY RELATABLE IN A LOT OF WAYS BECAUSE BEING A THEATER PERSON, I LOVE CHRISTINE.

I'M KIND OF A LITTLE BIT AWKWARD SOCIALLY OUTCAST, THE POINT OF THE SHOW.

M MICHAEL IN THE BATHROOM HITS HOME.

♪ MICHAEL IN THE BATHROOM, MICHAEL IN THE BATHROOM AT A PARTY ♪ ♪

THE SONG MICHAEL IN THE BATHROOM HITS HOME WITH A LOT OF FANS.

NUMBERLESS YOUTUBE VIDEO WERE MADE AROUND THE SONG.

IT'S PART OF WHAT TIPPED OFF CREATORS JOE TRACE AND JOE ICONIS THEIR SHOW MIGHT HAVE A WIDER IMPACT THAN ORIGINALLY THOUGHT.

IT WAS A YEAR AGO, SPRING 2017, AND I STARTED NOTICING ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA EXCITEMENT ABOUT OUR SHOW.

AND IT SORT OF SHOCKED ME AND IT SHOCKED JOE AND GEORGE SALAZAR WHO SINGS MICHAEL IN THE BATH ROOMT WHICH IS THE GATEWAY TO BE MORE CHILL.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED BECAUSE HEAP L LOVED THE SHOW.

IT'S REALLY REMARKABLE.

AFTER PERFORMANCES AUDIENCE MEMBERS GATHER IN THE LOBBY TO GREET THE CAST.

HELENA COLEMAN DRESSED AS THE CHARACTER MICHAEL GETS THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET GEORGE SALAZAR WHO PLAYS THE ROLE ON STAGE.

IT'S BEEN SURREAL WHO HAS BEEN THRUST INTO THE LIFE OF AN ICON, BUT ALSO UPLIFTING.

WHAT I LOVE THE MOST ABOUT THIS POPULARITY FOR BE MORE CHILL, IS THE SCREAMING, I'M NOT A BIG FAN OF THE SCREAMING.

IT'S JUST -- IT'S HEARING PERSONAL STORIES FROM KIDS WHO IMPRESS ME SO MUCH WITH HOW WELL THEY KNOW THEMSELVES.

IT'S REALLY SPECIAL TO WATCH YOUNG PEOPLE BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES AND JUST GO FORTH WITH PRIDE IN WHO THEY ARE.

SALAZAR AND OTHERS IN THE SHOW ARE PLEASED TO BE PART OF A PROJECT WITH A DIVERSE CAST AND A MESSAGE OF VALUING INDIVIDUALITY AND THINKING FOR ONE SELF.

IT'S A STORY THAT WASN'T AVAILABLE TO HIM WHEN HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL.

TO NOW BE ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THAT AS AN ADULT, SOMEHOW PLAYING A TEENAGER, TO BE HERE AND TO BE ABLE TO TELL A STORY THAT YOUNG PEOPLE ARE RELATING TO, I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.

IT IS A DREAM COME TRUE.

AND IT'S ONLY GETTING BETTER FOR THE BE MORE CHILL TEAM AND THE SHOW'S FANS.

THOSE WHO COULDN'T SNAG A TICKET FOR THE OFF-BROADWAY RUN WON'T HAVE TO GO BACK TO RELYING ON DETAILS FROM THE INTERNET.

THE HIT MUSICAL IS SET TO TRANSFER TO BROADWAY IN EARLY 2019.

IN MANHATTAN, I'M MATTIE ORTON FOR 'METROFOCUS.'

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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