It’s Time to Be More Chill


Maggie Ahern

Gabrielle Wolin, Perspectives Editor

The MBS 2023 Upper School spring musical, Be More Chill, was a light-hearted and well executed performance that captivated the audience with its amusing premise, humor, and storyline.

Be More Chill, originally a teen novel, was written by Ned Vizzini in 2004. The musical follows social outcast highschooler Jeremy Heere, played by Daniel Raimer ‘26, in Metuchen, New Jersey. Jeremy is considered a loser by his peers. Deeply dissatisfied with his poor reputation and lack of romantic progress with his crush Christine, played by Maggie Ahern ‘23, Jeremy obtains a SQUIP (an acronym for Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor), a supercomputer in the form of a pill that travels to his brain and radically transforms Jeremy’s behavior and social status by giving him advice on how to be cool. Played incredibly by Alana Smith ‘23, the SQUIP becomes more and more malevolent in its coaching, causing Jeremy to begin to doubt its advice. By the end of the musical, he decides to deactivate his SQUIP and listens to his friends’ suggestions for a strategy for asking out Christine.

The musical featured some fun, upbeat numbers, including the title tune and “Upgrade,” while another, “Michael in the Bathroom,” was used to channel warmth and humor to complement the darker themes of the angst and insecurities many young people experience, particularly in this social-media-driven age.

Every cast member shone, both as individual performers and an ensemble. And although they all play recognisable stereotypes, they steer just clear of appearing generic for the most part. Ahern excellently played the character of Christine Canigila, a theater student and Jeremy’s longtime crush, delivering jokes and humorous dances, which caused the audience to erupt with laughter continuously throughout the performance.

Alongside Ahern’s humorous act, Kaitlyn Brown ‘24 and Cameron Weil ‘26 delivered excellent performances of the characters Brooke and Chloe, two of the most witty and popular girls in school. They help in Jeremy’s journey of self exploration through snarky comments and failed relationships. In addition, Ari Mandel ‘26 played Jeremy’s best friend, Michael Mell, perfectly executing his role by delivering lines and songs that wowed the audience. Henry D’Andrea ‘24 did an amazing job as Rich Goranski, a short-statured but well-built part of the popular teen group that bullies Jeremy, eventually rekindling a lost bond with Jeremy by the end of the musical. 

The musical warmed the hearts of the audience with its entertaining premise, comedy and captivating plot despite its longer runtime. The MBS Performing Arts department and all of the talented students in the cast and crew involved created a truly memorable performance with Be More Chill. This coming-of-age musical with a contemporary twist and hysterical humor filled the hearts of the audience for all four performances in Founders Hall this spring. 

For more information about the musical and to view the digital program click here.