The New York Times: How Be More Chill Found Its Fans

 Will Connolly (center) as a high school student who takes steps to turn cool in the Two Rivers Theater production of “Be More Chill.” Credit T. Charles Erickson

Will Connolly (center) as a high school student who takes steps to turn cool in the Two Rivers Theater production of “Be More Chill.” Credit T. Charles Erickson

How an Anxious-Adolescent Musical (No, Not That One) Found Its Fans | The New York Times

Before “Be More Chill” even starts previews at the Pershing Square Signature Center on July 26, it will already be one of the most popular new musicals in America, with a passionate fan base that dwarfs the number of people who have ever seen the show.

All this after a barely noticed monthlong run in New Jersey three years ago. And a little cast album that could.

When the show’s songwriter, Joe Iconis, and co-star, George Salazar, did a joint cabaret evening at Feinstein’s/54 Below this month, audience members flew in from Paris, Berlin and London. A dad got behind the wheel to ferry his daughter from Michigan. A pair of friends drove from Florida.

Annalise Heffron, 13, and her mom, Amy Cobb, spent 17 hours on a bus from their home in Cincinnati. “She picked that over the school trip to Chicago,” Ms. Cobb said by telephone later.

Still, even musical-theater aficionados may be asking: What exactly is “Be More Chill”?

Based on a 2004 novel by Ned Vizzini, the pop-rock musical, with a book by Joe Tracz, tells the story of a high school junior, Jeremy Heere, who ingests a pill-size supercomputer that makes him cooler.

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