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Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill Tony Award-Winning Musical Coming to Sarasota

Benjamin Eakeley, star of the Broadway tour of Jagged Little Pill, discusses the show's dynamic themes and music.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with actor Benjamin Eakeley and delve deeper into the world of Alanis Morissette's 1995 album Jagged Little Pill. This iconic album has sold over 33 million copies and continues to resonate with audiences, making it more than just a Gen X touchstone.

In 2013, recognizing the potential for Morissette's powerful lyrics to be transformed into a larger-than-life production, she and the album's producer, Glen Ballard, collaborated to create a jukebox musical of the same name. Accompanied by a script from Diablo Cody, the show delves into the underbelly of upper-middle-class suburban America, exploring themes of opioid and pornography addiction, disputes over gender identity, sexuality, and consent, all set to Morissette's electrifying music.

The Broadway tour of Jagged Little Pill is set to arrive in Sarasota for three performances at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Veteran actor Benjamin Eakeley, known for his roles in Broadway productions of Sweeney Todd and Cabaret, takes on the role of Steve Healey, the patriarch of the story's central family. His character's marriage to Mary Jane is on the brink of collapse, and Eakeley shared his insights into the show's dynamic themes and music.

Having grown up listening to Morissette's music, Eakeley expressed his excitement at experiencing her music from a new perspective. He noted the creators' ability to craft a narrative that adds depth to Morissette's music, creating a compelling story that resonates with audiences on multiple levels.

Eakeley highlighted the versatility of Morissette's music and its ability to evoke different emotions and interpretations. He emphasized the impact of the music on the characters and their individual journeys, showcasing the richness and depth of Morissette's songs.

Comparing rock music to theatrical music, Eakeley discussed the unique experience of performing in a rock musical, where the band and the tempo create a thrilling and dynamic environment for the actors. He described the show as a rollercoaster ride, where unexpected moments lead to a sense of exhilaration and excitement for the performers.

Delving into his role as Steve Healey, Eakeley shared insights into the character's journey, describing the family dynamic and the conflicts and resolutions that unfold throughout the show. He praised the construction of the narrative, highlighting the artful portrayal of human emotions and experiences.

Eakeley emphasized the humanity of the show, noting the contemporary themes and the relatable nature of the characters' interactions. He highlighted the audience's response to the show, expressing how their reactions and engagement with the themes add to the overall experience.

Addressing the show's handling of difficult social issues, Eakeley commended the use of humor to navigate heavy themes such as drug addiction, interracial adoption, and sexuality. He emphasized the importance of communication in the characters' journeys, highlighting the themes of hope, rebirth, and catharsis that emerge from these interactions.

In comparing Jagged Little Pill to other musicals, Eakeley emphasized the contemporary rock focus and the unique narrative structure that sets it apart. He described the show as a fusion of beloved music and a compelling new story, offering audiences the best of both worlds.

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