Casting for the UK premiere of Be More Chill, the hit Broadway musical has been announced. The lead roles of Jeremy Heere will be played by Scott Folan (recent credits include Mother of Him at Park Theatre, Damned By Despair at the National Theatre) and Michael Mell by Blake Patrick Anderson (previous musicals credits include Straight Dave in Pet Shop Boys’ Closer to Heaven and Starlight Express).
Be More Chill runs at London’s The Other Palace from 12 February to 3 May 2020 (press night is 18 February) and is based on the groundbreaking novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini.
Two former Queens also join the Be More Chill company in the shape of Renee Lamb and Millie O’Connell. They both starred in one of Britain’s most celebrated and popular new musicals: Six: The Musical. Lamb played Catherine of Aragon in the original Arts Theatre production, and O’Connell played Anne Boleyn at the Arts Theatre.
Also announced today are: Miracle Chance as Christine Canigula, Stewart Clarke as The Squip, Eloise Davies as Brooke Lohst, James Hameed as Rich Goranski, Miles Paloma as Jake Dillinger, Christopher Fry as Mr Heere and Mr Reyes and Eve Norris (swing), with further company members to be announced.
With original music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and a book by Joe Tracz, Be More Chill has been described as an international sensation – when the 2015 Original Cast Recording was released by Ghostlight Records, millions of people streamed the album and formed a passionate community of Be More Chill fans, ultimately leading the musical to receive a Broadway production.
When the 2019 Broadway Cast Recording was subsequently released by Ghostlight Records, it debuted at No. 2 on the Top Cast Albums Chart. Songs from the musical have accumulatively garnered over 318 million streams, with the breakout track ‘Michael In The Bathroom’ amassing over 31 million streams and 8 million YouTube views alone. Tumblr has ranked Be More Chill as the No. 2 most talked-about musical on their platform, behind only Hamilton.
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. The boy is desperately trying to fit in. The girl’s longing to be noticed. And the supercomputer just wants to take over the world.
Be More Chill was commissioned by and premiered at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey in 2015, had a limited run, and Ghostlight Records released an original cast recording. In 2017, the number of online listeners to the recording started growing, with fans creating animated YouTube videos, art fiction, blogs and vlogs.
In 2018, the show’s creators thought it was time to bring it back – resulting in an ‘off-Broadway production’ and this year’s Broadway run at the Lyceum Theatre. Its success continues with this London premiere at The Other Palace and a film adaptation which is currently underway.
Joining Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz on the creative team are director Stephen Brackett, choreographer Chase Brock, set designer Beowulf Boritt, costume designer Bobby Frederick Tilley II, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau, sound designer Ryan Rumery and projection designer Alex Basco Koch with wigs by Dave Bova. Orchestrations are by Charlie Rosen, vocal arrangements by Emily Marshall, UK musical direction by Louisa Green and UK casting is by Will Burton.