Calling All ’90s Kids: Diablo Cody is Writing an Alanis Morissette Stage Musical


In a pop culture world where nostalgia reigns supreme, the “jukebox musical” has become one of Broadway’s most reliable standbys, catering to tourists with money in their pocket but a hunger for the familiar – or, as it’s also known, the Why The Fuck Is There an Olive Garden in Times Square Conundrum. Thus, Mama Mia, Jersey Boys, Movin’ Out, American Idiot, and Rock of Ages have landed among the most successful stage musicals of the past two decades – though shows spotlighting far more iconic artists (including All Shook Up, Ring of Fire, and The Times They Are A-Changin’) have tanked badly, indicating there’s a sort of sweet spot for songs we know, but not from an artist too indistinguishable from them.

Anyway, it looks like we’ll find out where Alanis Morissette falls in that continuum, as next spring will see the stage bow of Jagged Little Pill, a new musical based on songs from that 1995 phenom, as well as “melodies from her extensive body of work.” The show will debut next May at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, which has been a starting point for several recent Broadway-bound productions (including Waitress, Finding Neverland, and 1984), under the direction of Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

And the book will be penned by perhaps the most logical choice imaginable: Oscar winner Diablo Cody, who, per the show’s press release, “has written a new and original storyline that revolves around a modern and multi-generational family and their complex dynamics, touching on issues of gender identity and race.” Yeah okay, that’s all well and good, but if there’s not a scene with two teens on hamburger phones talking about how none of the stuff in “Ironic” is actually ironic, I call bullshit.