Based on the 2004 Ned Vizzini sci-fi novel of the same name about a New Jersey high school student who tries to climb social ranks with the aid of futuristic technology, the wacky and spirited Be More Chill musical premiered at New Jersey's Two River Theater in May 2015. This original cast recording from later that year features Will Connolly (Broadway's Once) in the lead role of Jeremy Heere and a six-piece orchestra that includes Theremin and vocoder among more traditional rock musical instrumentation. With music and lyrics by Joe Iconis (Bloodsong of Love, TV's Smash), the fantastical plot is pervaded by the relatable notion of teen alienation, with songs like "Michael in the Bathroom," about having social anxiety at a party, and lyrics like "I don't want to be a hero, just want to stay in the line/I'll never be a Rob De Niro, for me Joe Pesci is fine." Always maintaining a sense of humor, Be More Chill carries a tone and even songwriting style more in line with Little Shop of Horrors than Spring Awakening or Rent.
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson