The musical Jagged Little Pill, at the Broadhurst Theatre, is built around songs by Alanis Morissette and is a delight for her fans. Director Diane Paulus meticulously weaves those songs, including Morissette’s 1990s hits such as “Ironic,” “Hand in My Pocket,” and “You Oughta Know,” together with the book delicately written by Diablo Cody. The young actors are terrific and very talented.
The plot revolves around a perfect-on-the-surface upper-middle-class family dealing with depression, opioid addiction, and racial issues. The issue of sexual assault raises its ugly neck in two subplots. The mother, Mary Jane (Elizabeth Stanley), has become addicted to opioids after a serious automobile accident. Her husband, Steve (Sean Allan Krill), is addicted to Internet porn. Frankie (Celia Rose Gooding), their adopted African-American daughter, is not exactly faithful to her girlfriend, Jo (Lauren Patten)—which gives Jo the motive to turn “You Oughta Know” into a showstopper.
Jagged Little Pill falters by trying to tie in so many current issues, but if you love Alanis Morissette and you want a show with rousing music and dance performances, this is for you.