Our friends at the Selma Arts Center are excited to present the Central Valley premiere of Be More Chill. This new musical follows a high school loser, Jeremy Heere, who swallows a pill-sized super computer to help him become popular.
Fool Christy Hathway, who served as assistant director for the production, sat down for a Q&A with actor Josh Plowman. Josh plays the role of Michael (Jeremy’s best friend) in the show. These questions cover Michael's back story as well as Josh's reasons for loving the show.
Many other Fools are involved in this production, including founding Fools Dominic Grijalva (projections) and Kyle Lowe (band), some of our favorite performers (Jessica Meredith, Randy Kohlruss, and Teya Juarez), and make-up/hair artist, Logan Cooley. The show was directed by our very own marketing designer/ board member, Miguel "Migs" Gastelum.
All pictures on this post are by Kyle and Brandon Lowe, for the art center.
Here is Christy's interview with Josh.
Q: The first time we see Michael, he’s slurping on a slushee. What’s Michael’s fave Slurpee flavor?
A. Michael’s ideal Slurpee is made by layering Blue Raspberry Slurpee on top of Cherry. The trick is to tilt the cup and dispense the Blue Razz slowly, or else it’ll plunge right through the Cherry.
Q. Michael’s favorite video game?
A. Definitely Apocalypse of the Damned, due to Michael’s connection to it through playing with Jeremy for years.
Q. What about Michael’s favorite TV show?
A. The original Star Trek series with William Shatner because it’s freaking awesome and Michael geeks out rewatching episodes and learning as much trivia as he can.
Q. Why do you think this story is important right now?
A. This story is especially important in this age of social media because we are constantly bombarded with direct comparisons of ourselves to others.
Q. How do you hope the audience feels after seeing the show?
A. I want audiences to feel empowered in their own identities. Hopefully their cheeks will also be hurting from laughing, but primarily the empowerment thing. I want people to really like themselves after this show. It’s a powerful message conveyed in an extremely entertaining fashion.
Q. Any other thoughts?
A. I definitely do want to say that the role of Michael has been daunting. The followers of this musical fell in love with the character because of George Salazar’s iconic performance [on Broadway]. I neither wanted to copy that performance, nor did I want to ignore the elements of it that made the character special and relatable. In Michael, I have found an amazing source of positivity that I try to hold with me as I go through day-to-day life outside of the show. I hope that audiences will feel that positivity and find an optimism inside themselves that they didn’t know was there before.
Be More Chill runs tonight through the 27th of July at Selma Arts Center. For more information, visit their website or follow one of their (great) social media platforms.
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