Hardscrabble 🍫

By Max Jacobson

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Michael in the Bathroom

September 3, 2023

Here’s some more musical theatre. I think a lot of people’s introduction to the musical Be More Chill is this song, because it’s a real powerhouse performance.

I wonder how many of them, like me, were disappointed to learn that Michael is not the main character of the musical. He’s the best friend of the main character, Jeremy.

Jeremy is being a kind of shitty friend, and Michael feels abandoned. That’s all you need to know to enjoy this song.

George Salazar performs this song again at the Tiny Desk Concert performance the production did:

C’mon, what a voice!

Be More Chill is based on a young adult novel by Ned Vizzini which I haven’t read. When I was a young adult I recall enjoying his memoir Teen Angst? Naaah…, which he published in 2000 while still a teenager. He died, apparently by suicide, in 2013. The reference to suicide in this song hits harder knowing that.

On a related note, perhaps the other great example of a musical theatre piece about debilitating anxiety in recent years is Surface Pressure from Encanto:

Fair warning to readers with siblings that this one might fuck you up a little, depending on whatever dynamics y’all are working with.

On another tangentically related note, here’s one more terrific George Salazar performance, this one a duet with Michaela Jaé Rodriguez performing Suddenly Seymour:

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