Alanis Morisette's 'Jagged Little Pill' Musical To Premiere In Sydney This December

27 September 2021 | 2:22 pm | Staff Writer

Natalie Bassingthwaite is set to star in the lead role.

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The acclaimed jukebox musical based on the iconic 1995 album from Alanis Morissette is finally making its way down under after numerous setbacks.

Jagged Little Pill will come to Theatre Royal Sydney this December - marking the first time the production has ever been put up outside of the US.

The seminal release from the Canadian indie singer/songwriter was adapted for stage by Juno and Jennifer's Body writer Diablo Cody, who worked with Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus to bring the album to life.

Cody won a Tony award this year for Best Book of a Musical for adapting the work.

"This show has been a vehicle of healing for so many of us throughout its journey and knowing we are coming your way is such amazing news after these intense 12 months across the world," Morissette said via video message during the original announcement back in April.

"Can’t wait to share this blood, sweat and tears musical with you… as Australia has always held a very special place in my heart."

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It was also announced that Neighbours and Underbelly star Natalie Bassingthwaite will head up the production as lead character Mary Jane "MJ" Healy. It marks the return to stage for the star after her run as Roxy Hart in the Melbourne production of stage musical Chicago back in 2019.

“I am beyond excited and privileged to be part of this incredible show," the singer and actor explained. "I have such admiration for the key creative team in Alanis, Diablo and Diane who have created a show full of heart, courage, determination, and a vulnerability which I am looking forward to bringing to the role of MJ. 

"I was a huge Alanis fan and of the album as a young adult, a time where I was discovering what sort of person I wanted to become, and I can’t wait to be able to tell this story on stage through the incredible music and lyrics entertaining audiences but also filling them with hopeful inspiration.”

The recent US production was met with controversy after accusations of non-binary erasure. Fans were displeased after learning the character of Jo had been re-branded as a female-identifying character between productions. The role was originally portrayed by actor Lauren Patten, who has since won a Tony award for the performance.

Lead producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price recently released a joint statement on the matter, noting, "We set out to portray a character on a gender expansive journey without a known outcome. Throughout the creative process, as the character evolved and changed, between Boston & Broadway, we made mistakes in how we handled this evolution."

They continue, "As leaders of this very special enterprise, we should have done better and recognise our failure and its consequences.  We put our cast and our fans in a difficult position. Torn between their love for the show we created and their hurt and disappointment around this issue and with our words (and then with our silence)."

You can read their full statement here.

Jagged Little Pill will run 2-19 December. Tickets are on sale now.