Jagged Little Pill tackles ugly truthfully and beautifully. I saw this show for the second time on Sunday with a group of 50, many in the 14/15 year old range. When there are kids and their parents in the mix, I am hyper aware of the content that is being covered on the stage. Jagged Little Pill covers a lot of dark, ugly and challenging content.
Behind The Healy family’s gorgeous stony facade of the perfect family they are striving to project, is a decidedly imperfect family just trying to survive. Survive lying. Survive a drug addiction. Survive race and sexual tension. Survive a broken marriage. Survive familial relationships. Survive being witness to a sexual assault and doing the exact wrong thing. Survive heartbreak. Survive parental pressure. Survive society. Survive life.
We go to the theater to feel things. To learn things. To get perspective. To stimulate discussion on topics we might not otherwise have the courage to conjure up. To inform. To grow as humans and perhaps help us make better decisions as our future selves. To get uncomfortable in a safe and secure space surrounded by our friends and family. The often painful lines from Alanis Morrissette’s music that provide the crackling undercurrent and abundantly clear road map for this family’s story, needs to be experienced. By you as a parent and by your kids 14 and up of both and all genders.
The show is not one bit timid about the difficult content it addresses. But it is supremely thoughtful about how it presents these less than delicate and challenging topics. There is obviously nothing pretty about rape or an overdose. But artistically rendered on stage, with the expressive dancers powerfully shouldering much of the burden of the message, Jagged Little Pill unfolds these difficult to process jagged and awful situations magnificently, powerfully, painfully, gracefully, and – true story – beautifully. Not beautiful in a way that glorifies rape or a drug overdose, but in a way that says this happened. This happens all of the time. We’re going to show it to you in the most honest and respectful way we know how so we can honestly represent our story and countless others. Thank you to all involved in Jagged Little Pill for sharing this story so honestly and so very beautifully.
We live, we learn. Grab Your Teenagers and GO.