“BE MORE CHILL” ON BROADWAY

Pop-rock musical “Be More Chill” is Broadway bound! We’ll bring you the story behind this musical sensation.

Aired February 12, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> A BELOVED SHOW IS ABOUT TO GET AN UPGRADE.

THE POP ROCK MUSICAL 'BE MORE CHILL' IS MOVING TO BROADWAY THIS MONTH.

I VISITED NEW YORK CITY'S SIGNATURE THEATER LATE LAST YEAR DURING THE SOLDOUT BROADWAY RUN TO SEE WHY FANS LOVE THE SHOW.

FOR FANS OF THE MUSICAL, THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF AN OFF BROADWAY RUN AT NEW YORK CITY'S SIGNATURE THEATER WAS A DREAM COME TRUE.

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

GOOD MORNING!

♪ TIME TO START THE DAY

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 NONPROFESSIONAL THEATER COMPANIES IN THE THREE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED.

AWAY FROM THE FOOTLIGHTS A CULT FOLLOWING BEGAN TO BUBBLE UP ONLINE.

THE CATCHY ALBUM FROM THE TWO RIVER THEATER'S PRODUCTION INSPIRED FAN ART ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

NONE OF US HAVE SEEN THE SHOW.

WE'VE LISTENED TO THE CAST ALBUM.

THERE'S A LOT OF INTERNET CRAZE ABOUT THE SHOW, SO A LOT OF US LISTEN TO THE SOUND TRACK AND GET IN AN INSTAGRAM.

MY FRIEND TOLD ME BECAUSE THERE WAS ART ON TUMBLR AND IT GOT FAMOUS AND SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE.

THE 'BE MORE CHILL' CAST RECORDING HAS BEEN STREAMED MORE THAN 160 MILLION TIMES.

WITH NO SURPRISE, THE OFF BROADWAY RUN AT SIGNATURE THEATER SOLD OUT BEFORE IT OPENED, WAS EXTENDED BY A WEEK AND THEN SOLD OUT AGAIN.

THE SHOW FOCUSES ON 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 DIALOGUE THAT FEELS REALISTIC.

WHEN IT TAKES AN UNREALISTIC SCI FI TURN, IT'S CARTOONY IN A WAY THAT APPEALS TO YOUNG PEOPLE.

PROTAGONIST JEREMY TAKES WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A LITERAL CHILL PILL CALLED A SQUIP, A SUPER QUANTUM UNIT INTEL 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.

THE USUAL CHALLENGES OF HIGH SCHOOL, HUMBLE SONGS AND EYE-CATCHING COSTUMES AND 'BE MORE CHILL' IS A RECIPE FOR MUSICAL THEATER FANDOM NATIONWIDE.

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 10, I FEEL LIKE 15.

I BEGGED MY MOM THAT WE COULD COME FOR MY BIRTHDAY.

WE ALL WORKED TOGETHER.

WE SOLD LIKE CAKES TO GET HERE.

THEY DID A LOT OF HELP, THOUGH.

THEY WORKED A LOT TO GET HERE TOO.

IT'S A BIG THING AMONG THEATER KIDS ESPECIALLY.

HELENA IS IN TOWN FROM ILLINOIS SEEING THE SHOW FROM HER MOM.

SHE'S ALSO A THEATER TEEN.

SHE CAME IN COSTUME PLAYING MICHAEL JEREMY'S BEST FRIEND.

THE THING I LOVE ABOUT THE SHOW, IT'S REALLY RELATABLE.

ME BEING A THEATER PERSON I LOVE CHRISTINE BUT ALSO I'M KIND OF A LITTLE BIT AWKWARD SOCIALLY OUT CAST WHICH IS THE POINT OF THE SHOW.

MICHAEL IN THE BATHROOM HITS HOME.

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

THE SONG HITS HOME WITH A LOT OF FANS.

A SEEMINGLY ENDLESS NUMBER OF YOUTUBE VIDEOS HAVE BEEN MADE OF THE FAN FAVORITE SONG.

IN FACT, THE SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ AROUND THE SONG IS PART OF WHAT TIPPED OFF THE CREATORS THAT THEIR SHOW MIGHT HAVE A WIDER IMPACT THAN THEY ORIGINALLY THOUGHT.

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

AND IT SHOCKED ME AND IT SHOCKED JOE AND GEORGE SALAZAR.

IT WAS SORT OF LIKE THE GATEWAY DRUG FOR PEOPLE TO 'BE MORE CHILL.'

IT'S REMARKABLE.

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

HELENA GETS THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET GEORGE SALAZAR WHO PLAYS THE ROLE MICHAEL ON STAGE.

THE EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN SURREAL FOR SALAZAR WHO'S BEEN THRUST INTO THE ROLE OF TEEN ICON.

BUT ALSO UPLIFTING.

WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS IS LESS OF LIKE THE SCREAMING.

I'M NOT A BIG FAN OF THE SCREAMING.

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 ONESELF.

TO NOW BE ON THE OPPOSITE 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.

NOW THAT DREAM IS BROADWAY BOUND.

FOR 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.

'BE MORE CHILL' IS SET TO BEGIN PERFORMANCES IN THE LYCEUM THEATER ON FEBRUARY 13th.

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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