PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Pictured: Teressa LaGamba
The hit Broadway musical “Be More Chill” is set for a commercial run at the Apollo Theater, marking the first North American production outside of New York. The producers have announced an all-Chicago cast: Jeremiah Alsop (Michael), Alex Goodrich (Mr. Heere/Mr. Reyes), Rebecca Hurd (Christine), Teressa LaGamba (Jenna), Michelle Lauto (Chloe), Eben K. Logan (Brooke), Liam Oh (Jeremy), Billy Rude (Jake) and Koray Tarhan (Rich). The role of the Squip will be announced at a later date.
Based on the novel by Ned Vizzini, “Be More Chill” features music and lyrics by Tony nominee Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz. The Chicago production is led by the original creative team of director Stephen Brackett and choreographer Chase Brock. Performances begin April 17.
“Be More Chill” tells the atypical love story of a boy, a girl…and the supercomputer inside the boy’s head guiding him every step of the way. Jeremy Heere is just an average teenager desperately trying to fit in. That is, until he finds out about “The Squip” – a tiny supercomputer that promises to bring him everything he desires most: a date with Christine, an invite to the biggest party of the year and a chance to survive life in his suburban New Jersey high school. The only catch: the supercomputer wants to take over the world.
“I am energized to jump back into rehearsals and create a new crop of beautiful misfits with this sensational Chicago cast,” said Iconis. “As an artist who is particularly obsessed with persnickety, actor-driven theater, I’ve always had a huge crush on the Chicago theater scene. I am humbled and honored that the city has opened its arms to our musical.”
Be More Chill was originally commissioned by and premiered at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2015. A fervent response to the original cast recording led to an off-Broadway production in 2018, followed by a Broadway run at the Lyceum Theatre. The London production recently extended and a film adaptation is currently underway.
The Chicago production of Be More Chill is produced by Jerry Goehring, co-produced by Marleen and Gary Cohen, Harold F. Mills, Connor Tinglum/Andrew Hendrick, Jeffrey Neuman, Fred and Randi Sternfeld, Two River Theater and general managed by Lisa Dozier King/LDK Productions.
The creative team includes Charlie Rosen (orchestrations), Beowulf Boritt (set design), Bobby Frederick Tilley II (costume design), Tyler Micoleau (lighting design), Ryan Rumery (sound design), Alex Basco Koch (projection design) and Emily Marshall (vocal arrangements). The production manager is SenovvA and Chicago casting is by Lynn Baber.
Tickets for the limited 18-week run, priced $35-$125, are on sale at the Apollo Theater box office (2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago), by phone at (773) 935-6100, and online through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.