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THE COMPANY OF JAGGED LITTLE PILL AT AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER IN 2018 PHOTO BY EVGENIA ELISEEVA

path to the show that would premiere at Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater in 2018. “I knew that Mary Jane would be the lead character in the show,” says Cody. “I don’t know if there are a lot of albums that speak to you like that. A song like ‘Hand in My Pocket’ is about the human condition. Not a lot of pop songs are about that. Most are about the same three subjects: love, unrequited love, and being okay.” The songs on the album even spoke to Cody about how they should function in the show. “One of the few things I knew about musicals is that you have to have an ‘I Want’ song in the first act,” she says. “The

Once Cody sunk her teeth into the project, she found that the album Jagged Little Pill was theatrical by nature. “It is a concept album in a lot of ways and the songs are really profound,” Cody says. “They’re deep, they’re about real stuff, they follow a narrative arc, and they have characters in them. They almost feel like they were written to be adapted for the stage.” Cody knew she had chosen a project that was right for her, as she never felt the need to force songs into certain moments. “The process was much more organic than I thought it was going to be,” she says, remembering her unease over the thought later Morissette’s music would lay the groundwork for a Broadway musical. No one would have predicted that 24 years

THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM OF JAGGED LITTLE PILL PHOTO BY NATHAN JOHNSON

of having to re-write lyrics. “I thought it was the only way [the lyrics] would fit with the specific, unique story that I was planning to create about this dysfunctional family.” In the end, the team barely changed any words. “That’s how organic it was,” she says, laughing. “I’m thrilled, I really did not think it was going to unfold the way that it did.” It was “Mary Jane” (a song in which Morissette is reassuring a friend who is having a rough time), that set Cody on the

song ‘All I Really Want’ spells it out. That couldn’t have been easier for me.” “I kept saying the music feels epic and intuitive; it’s like a Greek chorus,” says Paulus, who remembers Morissette being intrigued by this idea. “We started to ask, ‘Who is this chorus? Who is the conscience of this show? How does a Greek chorus function? How are they the conscience of the characters? How did they know things that the characters don’t know?’

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