Be More Chill’s Final Performance: Photo of Day 11/10/2017


Jacob Blue

Ocean county center for the arts Stand theater

by Jacob Blue, Reporter

In 2015 Exit 82 theater in New Jersey put on the production of Be More Chill, a musical based on of a novel by the same name written by Ned Vizzini. Joe Iconis wrote the lyrics, script, and the music.

The story centers around the main character named Jeremy Heere trying to survive the dreaded world of high school. He and his best friend Michael discover a pill called a SQUIP that tells them how to be cool. The SQUIP assists Jeremy in his quest to get his dream girl, Christine. As the story goes on, Jeremy starts to lose control of himself, abandoning his friends and family to be more chill. Jeremy must regain control of himself before the SQUIP takes over the whole world.

The cast included Will Connolly, George SalazarEric William Morris and many more.

Be More Chill was live for only one weekend in June 2015. The show increasingly grew in popularity over the next year, with many fans showing their love for the show with fan art, cosplay, etc.

Exit 82 theater decided to do another production of Be More Chill for one weekend in November 2017.

This production brought in a new cast of talented actors like Matt Dalton, Ryan Everett Wood, and Sal Pavia.

Class of 2021 students Natalie Blue said, “Seeing Be More Chill in person was an amazing experience for me and my friends who have been big fans of the musical for quite a while. The actors did a fantastic job with their portrayal of the characters and kept us interested in the story the whole time. Their voices were outstanding, especially having to dance and sing at the same time while still staying in character and putting emotion into the lyrics, making them more than just words. It was an experience that was worth the trip and it’s sad that the show was only for one weekend, but I’m very glad I was able to see it.”

The show was fast-paced, with songs seeming to begin one after the another.

But the main problem had nothing to do with the performance at all. The audience during the show was extremely rude. People were screaming as loud as they could when an actor said or did a particular anything on stage. From singing along, reciting lines, and trying to get the attention of the actors while they were on stage, these fans treated the play more like a rock concert.  It took away from the performance.

The songs and dance numbers were full of fast movement, acrobatics and colorful staging.

The new cast was able to bring a new layer of enjoyment and personality to their characters.

In particular, Elizabeth Ritacco who played Christine. In the original, Christine was nothing more than a dull love interest for the main character. Ritacco was able to add a quirky side to them with movement, expression, and random bursts of goofiness. Christian went from bland stereotype to a fully three-dimensional character that audience members can get attached too.

I would recommend anyone interested in theater to give Be More Chill a listen.