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16th March 2020.
At this time there are NO performances of ANY production taking place in the West End or other London venues.
Stay safe, stay well.
Ends 14th June 2020.
NOT SUITABLE FOR THOSE AGED UNDER 12 OR THE EASILY OFFENDED.
Boy with a computer in his head meets girl who wants attention.
A Broadway musical comes to London.
(seen at the afternoon performance on 15th March 2020. Note that one character was “read in” by the assistant director standing off-stage, due to cast absence).
There’s a lot to be said for a show willing to go on without a named member of the cast, given current circumstances. Due praise is given here to the entire cast for it – though why most of them didn’t appear to acknowledge the contribution of the “stand in” at the end is slightly peculiar... anyway...
Unfortunately, it rather showed up the weakness of the entire show. From the programme notes this didn’t last long on Broadway; revived only by public demand when the cast recording became cult listening among its age-group.
We are back in “American High School” territory, “Heathers,” “Carrie,” “Dear Evan Hansen” et al. The cast in this, though, are more like “Grease” the movie – far older than their characters, and it does rather make the show a little awkward visually, despite their obvious talent.
Not helping either are the exceptionally ropey book with gaping plot holes in the second act where they depart from the original – presumably properly thought out – material.
The music is mediocre too, the hit “Michael In The Bathroom” inspiring the revival sounds more like Burt Bacharach’s “Message to Michael” than anything else, with an even more banal lyric.
Director Stephen Brackett is also at his best around 50 minutes into the show, when he allows the cast space to breathe. Chase Brock as choreographer, though, keeps the unnecessarily tight grip on dance throughout. This show needs to relax, as it flows best when it does. On the plus side, Alex Basco Koch’s projection wall is a piece of art, adding immeasurably to the action.
There are some decent performances. Scott Folan is suitably nerdy as Jeremy Heere, the boy who takes a pill. Sidekick Blake Patrick Anderson is a matching best friend. Stewart Clarke channels Star Trek TNG’s “Q” effectively in his all-powerful role of computer Squip.
For the ladies, Miracle Chance is fun as extrovert introvert Christine Canigula, Millie O’Connell truthful as Chloe Valentine and Renee Lamb strong support as Jenna Rolan.
For the monkey, this was considerably more interesting than “Dear Evan Hansen,” but lacking the polish and wit of “Heathers” it’s one it will leave happily to the legion of fans the show has and which this cast deserve as an audience.
A post-millennial coming of age piece which tells the story of Jeremy, gawky and angst ridden teenager, who takes a pill which is a nano technology CPU which tells him (in the form of a human Keanu Reeves type person) how to live his life.
It is riot of song, dance and technology where graphics flash across the screen successfully complementing the live action. These projections/lighting were so compelling I could have almost watched them by themselves but that is underselling the quality of the performances.
There are some wonderful singing voices - the most interesting song ‘Michael yuh in the Bathroom’ was performed brilliantly by Blake Michael Anderson. Closely followed by three of the female leads singing the Smartphone song who sounded even better than the Broadway soundtrack.
There are obvious parallels between this and 'Dear Evan Hansen' (and 'Heathers') - although the adult characters are less interesting here and there is no killer song - it was a great evening that left me humming the songs for days to come.
Saw "Be More Chill" on Saturday 29th February 2020. Sat in E20/21. Not much legroom but great close views.
I went with my (24-year-old) daughter, with whom I share a passion for musicals and theatre in general. She now follows all the new shows in New York which form part of this relatively new young adult/high school genre. I happily accompany her to them as they come over.
I go to them aware that I am not the obvious target audience so I keep an open mind. I thought this was huge fun. The cast was fabulous, the songs not memorable but still enjoyable, the message predictable but still worthy.
But what really struck us both was, for the first time, seeing a substantial number of boys/young men. Lots of mum/dad/son combinations where usually the audience would be dominated by girls.
This particular show has clearly struck a chord with boys in a way that 'Dear Evan Hansen' hasn’t (even though they are both about teenage boys). They were all really engaged and, as I don’t see many boys in the theatre, I found this particularly encouraging. The audience was VERY appreciative but also respectful.
The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.
Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 4pm
NO MONDAY PERFORMANCES.
Runs 2 hours 30 minutes approximately.
Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.
Tuesday to Thursday:
Row A: £69.50
Rows C to K: £49.50 except:
"Premium seats" row D 6 to 20 and E to H 5 to 19: £59.50
Row L: £39.50
Row B 7 to 22 and row M: £29.50
Row B 3 to 6 and 23 to 26 and row N: £19.50
Friday to Sunday:
Row A: £69.50
Rows C to K: £52.50 except:
"Premium seats" row D 6 to 20 and E to H 5 to 19: £62.50
Row L: £42.50
Row B 7 to 22 and row M: £32.50
Row B 3 to 6 and 23 to 26 and row N: £22.50
RUSH TICKETS: App Todaytix are offering £25 "Rush tickets," located at venue discretion, for all performances. Released for the performance on that day, first-come, first-served. Download the App from Todaytix, unlock the "Rush Ticketing" feature by sharing on Facebook or Twitter, and that will allow you to buy tickets.