Music for ‘Jagged Little Pill’ includes songs from Alanis Morissette’s albums, plus a few new ones she wrote just for this show. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Bringing it home

Actor heads back to North Texas in Jagged Little Pill tour debut

Rich Lopez | Staff Writer

Alanis Morissette made a big impact on the music scene almost three decades ago with her album Jagged Little Pill. Her songs were edgy enough to be alternative but pop enough for the mainstream, and her lyrics about love were anything but ordinary. Millions of album sales and five Grammys later, Jagged Little Pill was a massive success in the mid 1990s.

Ironically, Delaney Brown wasn’t there for any of it.

The actor had a few more years before being in this world when Jagged Little Pill hit it big. But today, they are part of the cast of the jukebox musical based on Morrissette’s music, which comes to North Texas for the second time in recent months. Brown performed the show last September at Bass Hall. On Friday, the show opens at the Winspear for the Broadway at the Center series running through Sunday.  This also marks Brown’s national tour debut.

Brown, a 21-year-old from North Texas, is an ensemble cast member and understudy for the characters of MJ and Bella. They attended The Colony High School before transferring to the North Texas Performing Arts Academy. As a senior, they auditioned for colleges and ultimately chose Pace University, where they are currently pursuing a BFA in musical theater.

But then they were cast in JLP.

“This would be my senior year, but I got cast so I guess this is my gap year,” Brown said, adding that they are thrilled to be heading back home.

“I grew up watching shows at Bass Hall, so I’m literally so excited to see my family and friends and for them to see the show,” they said.

While they may not have been born during Morrissette’s heyday, Brown grew up listening to her songs, so they were familiar with the music. They certainly knew “Ironic,” but Brown said, that’s the one song she name-checked.

“I wasn’t allowed to listen to all of her songs because of the lyrics,” they said with a chuckle. But they did catch the show on Broadway twice. That began her Pill addiction. Still, the idea of crafting these non-Broadway type songs into a musical seemed unlikely.

“I didn’t know how they could put these songs into the show, and yet it works so perfectly,” Brown said. I knew the songs before, but the story comes first here. And the orchestrations morphed them into entirely different entities.”

Jagged Little Pill comes to Bass Hall Sept. 15-17 (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

JLP is a jukebox musical, but despite the title, the show’s songs aren’t just from that one album.

“Some are from [Morisette’s] other albums, and she wrote new songs for this show,” they said.

Brown, who identifies as bi, said the show does bring its own queerness to the stage as one character goes on a gender journey.

A break-up happens between a queer relationship that leads into “You Oughta Know.” For Brown, they found that to be a tender moment.

“The character is so sheltered, which they sing about in ‘Good Enough,’ and, being from Texas, it was heartbreaking,” they said. “That leads into this gender-queer journey which brings that process into the show.”

The book is by Diablo Cody, Oscar-winning writer of Juno.

Behind the curtain, Brown felt very much in a safe space, despite her home state being less of one now. The show follows Mary Jane, who starts by writing Christmas cards about her family. However, she omits the family secrets, which include gay relationships, addiction and overall unhappiness.

“So much of this cast is part of the community. The show really asks us to embrace that part of us, so there is this undertone of gayness in my eyes,” Brown said. “The second song is this protest moment, so in my way, it feels good to express that anger with what’s happening in Texas.’

Brown might have grown up a bit after Morrissette’s bigger music moments, but they have their own favorites. So which album would they want to see made into a musical?

“I would like a Taylor Swift musical. All her songs are very theatrical and storytelling. But also, I think Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway album would be a cool one to see,” they said. n

The story first ran in September and updated for this month’s run. For tickets, visit