Be More Chill Will Play Off-Broadway; Will Roland to Star

Off-Broadway News   Be More Chill Will Play Off-Broadway; Will Roland to Star
Dear Evan Hansen’s Roland will lead a company that also features members of the 2015 New Jersey premiere, including Gerard Canonico and George Salazar.
Will Roland Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The underground favorite Be More Chill will receive its New York premiere this summer. The musical, featuring a score by Joe Iconis (The Black Suits, Smash) and a book by Joe Tracz (The Lightning Thief), will play a limited engagement beginning July 26 at the Irene Diamond Stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center.

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The Two Rivers cast of Be More Chill T. Charles Erickson

Opening night is set for August 9; the run is currently scheduled through September 23.

Several members of the musical’s 2015 New Jersey premiere at Two River Theater (where the piece was commissioned) will reprise their performances: Gerard Canonico (Groundhog Day) as Rich, Katlyn Carlson (Dirty Dancing) as Chloe, Stephanie Hsu (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Christine, Lauren Marcus (Barrington Stage’s Company) as Brooke, and George Salazar (tick, tick…BOOM!, Godspell) as Michael.

New to the company are Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen) as Jeremy and Jason SweetTooth Williams (Freaky Friday) as Jeremy’s Dad and Mr. Reyes. Roland will play his final performance as Jared Kleinman in Dear Evan Hansen June 10.

Based on Ned Vizzini’s cult novel, the coming-of-age musical tells the story of Jeremy Heere, an average teenager who, tempted by the prospect of popularity, takes a pill purported to make people more…chill.

The production, directed by Stephen Brackett and choreographed by Chase Brock, features sets by Clint Ramos, costumes by Bobby Frederick Tilley II, lighting by Tyler Micoleau, sound design by Ryan Rumey, musical direction by Emily Marshall, orchestrations by Charlie Rosen, and casting by Telsey + Co.

Despite never playing New York, the musical gathered a massive fan base online, becoming Tumblr’s second most talked-about musical on its platform last year (behind Hamilton). Rights were released through R&H Theatricals last July.

The Off-Broadway engagement is presented by Gerald Goehring, Michael F. Mitri, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Marc David Levine, Fred and Randi Sternfeld, Robert and Joan Rechnitz, and Gary and Marlene Cohen.

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