Ahead of the December 5 official opening of her new Broadway show Jagged Little Pill, ’90s phenomenon Alanis Morissette appeared on CBS Sunday Morning to talk about the original album that inspired the musical and why she finally said yes to adapting it for the stage.
“I was open to it, but I didn't want a jukebox musical. I didn't want it to be a square peg into a round hole kind of thing,” she told Luke Burbank.
The musical, currently playing the Broadhurst Theatre, tells an original story from Oscar winner Diablo Cody (Juno) and bites off a hearty piece of hot button issues—from mass shootings to opioid addiction to rape culture.
Morissette’s angst-ridden album (plus some of her other hits and a couple new original songs) serve as the song list. “I was just writing about my human condition and perhaps the human condition,” Morissette said of the original Grammy-winning record. “The vulnerability, the rage, the betrayal.” And all of those emotions come out in full force in the super-charged musical about righteous rage and pain.
The singer-songwriter admitted that not everyone was on board with confronting all of these topics, but Morissette said, “My response was, ‘It's me. I'll back it up.’”
Indeed, Morissette has been a singular voice since her career first took flight. “After ‘Hand in My Pocket’ was released... I couldn't walk down the street anymore,” she recalled. “I thought fame would afford me this hyperconnectivity with people. We'd be 'kumbaya'ing... None of that was happening, and I was actually feeling quite isolated and alone.” Those feelings fueled her writing, and, at times, still does to this day. In fact, she’s coming out with a new album and preparing for a tour this spring.
“I can write when I'm happy; I can write when I'm despondent,” she said. “Writing is always there for me.”