“BE MORE CHILL”

The musical that became an internet sensation is now on Broadway. We have the the two stars talking about the breakout musical “Be More Chill.”

For more info on “Be More Chill” click here.

Aired on May 17, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

The Broadway musical sensation.

Be more chill tells the story of a nerdy high school student who ingest a pill sized supercomputer that makes him cool.

The original production of this teen anxiety sci fi driven show opened at the 2 River Theater in New Jersey back in 2015.

And closed after just four weeks largely as a result of a tepid New York Times review.

But then the cast made an album of this Joe Iconis musical and the rest as they say is history.

Fans across the globe have now streamed the album more than 300 million times.

An off Broadway run last summer sold out before the first performance and be more chill is now breaking records at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway where it opened in March.

Here's a look.

You want to be more sure.

Oh yes.

I do not.

They go down.

He's going to be.

So.

And joining us now are the two stars of be more chill Will Roland and George Salazar.

Guys thanks so much for joining us.

Thanks for having me here.

So as you guys know.

There are hundreds of young people who would literally pay big money to have the opportunity to sit here to talk to you guys and I'm not joking and you know I'm not joking or exaggerating that would happen.

That's the kind of phenomenon that this play has become.

How have you guys dealt with this amazing fandom.

We start with the rise in popularity of this show.

Kind of.

We've.

Joe I kind of started talking about how he and I have been in the eye of the storm.

Michael in the bathroom the song that I sing and act to kind of become this like gateway drug pun intended for people getting to be more chill.

My.

Body.

It's been wild it's been really crazy to see this like explosion.

That's the best way to describe it.

This explosion in popularity and then also to meet these young people face to face.

Their passion for this show is like nothing I've ever seen.

We'll talk about it in a second.

So how does this compare to the year of enhancing this experience the thing about being more chill is that we truly are here every night because of these fans and their enthusiasm.

[00:02:55] I talk about them you know I think about the relationship that I have with the fans not dissimilar to how I think about my family.

In terms of like there's so much that I'm so grateful for and also at times I'm like They give me a little bit of anxiety.

It's like kind of you know sort of like I'm I'm kind of like a private person.

So sometimes I get a little like boy.

But you bike the wrong career here.

Did you get a real problem moving a lot of young people.

I mean as the reason I said that they would come to you to pay to come here because they do pay to go see the play.

They paid from every continent I understand to go see it when it's off Broadway.

Your cabaret that you do with your icon is they come from a cross of the world to see they all enjoy.

Yeah.

You talk to these kids.

What did they say to you and what do you say to them.

The things that I'm hearing both from from them and from their parents.

You know there was one dad who pulled me aside and thanked me and said that his daughter spent some time in a hospital for harming herself.

And this show particularly with the last song of the musical voices in my head helped her kind of find comfort and security and and solace and and and helped her kind of calm her own demons and so to know that this thing that we make together as friends has had such a positive impact on on and a real very real impact on the lives of young people and their relationships with their parents.

It's been like a really cool thing to be a part of.

So will you know the play has been characterized in various ways.

Often it's like.

People say it's a cross between Dear Evan Hansen or Mean Girls dear of enhancing or a little shop of horrors.

Dear Evan Hanson and Napoleon Dynamite.

I heard that.

How would you characterize it.

I love to say I love the little shop of horrors comparisons I was used to love to use that as half of it.

I love playing with a matrix.

I think a lot about ready player one which was like a big you know big phenomenon last summer.

You know it has this sort of this retro futurist thing going on.

You know the vibe of the show is very much these sort of these films especially in the 80s where we sort of imagined what the future would be like.

But it takes place right now.

And part of the fun of it is you know to speak to what you're talk about and we're trying to tackle heavy issues here.

We're trying to really speak to the the the honest problems that young people today are going through.

But we want to do it in a lens that's not so you know boo hoo you know that we can all sort of sit there and laugh at ourselves a little bit.

And I think part of the success of Michael in the bathroom and part of what makes voices in my head such an effective anthem is you know basically at the end of our show we don't walk out saying like you know it's gonna happen guys you're going to grow up and it's all going to be fine because it isn't true.

The truth is it's much more nuanced and and these these ideas of doubt and you know this idea of you know feeling like an impostor or feeling you don't deserve something that never ever goes away.

Sometimes it's sort of like chills out a little bit.

And so what we're trying to present to especially the young people but all of our audiences is you know yes it's hard and it's going to stay hard but you are going to make it through and it's going to be okay.

And that I think is what we watch Jeremy do every night.

He goes on this journey to sort of become someone who's not but ultimately discovers like actually the humanity in me and the weirdness of me are the best parts of me.

Well I tell you it's been a few years since I graduated from high school and I loved it.

So it's obviously not only for you.

You guys are terrific in the play and and you're really nice guys.

I really am so happy to have met you.

Oh thanks so much.

Thanks so much.

Be more chill starring Will Rowan and Jorge Salazar is now playing at the Lyceum Theater.

For more information you can visit our website at metrofocus.org

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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