In 2012 Joe Iconis’ agent gave him a novel by Ned Vizzini called Be More Chill. Iconis is a prolific and crazy-talented composer, lyricist and writer, whose credits include writing the song “Broadway, Here I Come” for Smash. The agent said, “Check this out. This book reminded me of you.” The moment he read the novel Iconis immediately knew the work was destined to be a musical.
“The book deals with all these archetypal characters. Yet they are so surprising,” shares Iconis. He loved that Vizzini turned the archetypes on their heads. “He let all of these classic iconic characters like the nerd, jock and mean girl be really soulful, complex and have deep inner lives,” Iconis explains. “Because in reality no one is really just a jock, nerd or mean girl.”