Dillon Klena reflects on PPAC’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’


Something quite different in original Broadway musicals is coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) from Jan. 17 to the 22.

Actor Dillon Klena, who plays the role of Nick Healy, the son in the “perfectly imperfect” Healy family, describes the intense story as “staying in touch with many things that people don’t want to hear, but we wouldn’t be human if we weren’t imperfect.”

Klena had his own imperfect start to his acting career, graduating with a Musical Theatre degree from Cal State just as the pandemic hit and theatres closed.

“I didn’t have a life,” he said. “I had to learn who I was. I got a job at Bose to pay the bills, and then found a job at a restaurant where I did a “meet and greet” thing playing different characters like Edward Scissorhands. It was a great opportunity to practice my acting skills.”

From there, he got a job at Disneyland as a magician in the Magic Kingdom. In 2020 he played the Beast in a Zoom production of “Beauty and the Beast”, did a two-man musical, “Story of My Life,” “Mamma Mia,” “Newsies” and is now touring the country with “Jagged Little Pill.”

“It has been a real education, and I realize how lucky I was to survive the pandemic and end up with this wonderful role in this great musical,” Klena said.

The musical is based on the music of Alanis Morrissette and, besides winning a Grammy, has attracted young people to the theatre.

While Klena agrees that it has been a big hit with the young crowd, he finds that adults learn much about the dynamics of family issues and cultural change.

The original musical is in Providence from Jan. 17-22. Call 421-ARTS for tickets.


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