The Two River Theater Company has attracted lots of attention from Broadway and off-Broadway actors, directors, playwrights, set, lighting and costume designers who have worked there.
Now “Be More Chill,” a pop-rock musical first produced by the Red Bank-based theater that commissioned and produced in 2015, is attracting world-wide attention for going to NYC.
Why? Well, asNYTimes article, three years after the cast album was released it passed 100 million streams in the United States.
“This, of course, is nowhere near the 2.3 billion clocked by ‘Hamilton,’ but just under half of the streams for the vastly more established ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (211 million), and a lot more than another teen-oriented show, ‘Heathers: The Musical’ (23.4 million), which ran off-Broadway and has had numerous regional productions,” she wrote.
And, she added, when Joe Iconis, and co-star, George Salazar appeared at Feinstein’s/54 Below this month, fans flew in from Paris, Berlin and London. A Father-of-the-Year nominee drove his daughter from Michigan to attend, she noted.
“Be More Chill” starts previews July 26 at the Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd St. Tickets: (212) 244-7529.
The producer is Gerald Goehrinon, whose credits include “A Christmas Story: The Musical.”
It will be only the second professional production of the musical based on a Ned Vizzini novel (2004) with songs by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz. It tells the story of high school junior Jeremy who ingests a pill-size supercomputer that makes him cooler.
TRTC ‘s Artistic Director John Dias has been a leading advocate for bold new American plays. Managing Director Michael Hurst launched the theater’s first commissioning program for original plays. Before they joined the staff, 2010 and 2011 respectively, the company mostly staged classic European and American classics. Musicals were rare.
On Friday, TRTC opens “Dancing at Luhnasa” featuring Tony Award-nominee Michael Cumptsy. He also directed “The Importance of Being Earnest” earlier this season, which opened with “A Raisin in the Sun,” featuring Brandon J. Dirden and Crystal A. Dickinson. Two world premiers were stage: “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” based on Thornton Wilder’s novel and adapted for the stage by David Greenspan, and “El Coquî Espectacular and The Bottle of Doom” by Matt Barbot, part of Two River’s 2016 Crossing Borders festival of new Latino plays.
The season closes with “Songbird,” June 9-July 1, by Michael Kimmel, music & lyrics by Lauren Pritchard and directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.
The nonprofit regional theater company, which celebrate its 25th anniversary next season, is scheduled to announce the 2018/19 season on April 23.