“Jagged Little Pill,’’ the musical based on Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album of the same name, closed Sunday at the American Repertory Theater, and no one is sadder about that than Sol Kim Bentley. Really, maybe no one.
Kim Bentley saw the show eight times, and she would have been at the Loeb Drama Center a few more nights if she hadn’t been so pregnant.
“I did standing-room at 36 weeks.’’ she says, laughing.
Originally, her interest in the show stemmed from her affection for Morissette’s iconic album, which came out just before Kim Bentley’s senior year at Yale and coincided with her first big romantic breakup. The song “You Oughta Know’’ resonated intensely then.
“It was very therapeutic for me,’’ she said.
But Kim Bentley, a trained opera singer who currently works at Harvard, eventually recovered and moved on, and she didn’t listen to the album again for 20 years. When she read that the ART was producing a musical based on the LP, she figured she had to see it.
She was right. The show was well-reviewed and sold out all 79 performances, with actress Lauren Patten’s stunning delivery of “You Oughta Know’’ earning a standing ovation at all 79 performances. (That’s unusual for a song buried in the second act, trust us.)
Kim Bentley saw the show for the first time when it was still in previews, and she had an “emotional hangover’’ afterward.
“I wasn’t expecting what a visceral experience it would be,’’ she says. “The fact that I hadn’t listened to the album in so long, it was like I was 19 or 20 again and I was feeling all the emotions again.’’
But she got over it and went back. And back. And back.
“Because I come from a performing arts background, I was studying the show and the craft,’’ she says. “I like seeing what the actors are doing with the lines, and how the chemistry between them is each night.’’
Over time, cast members, including Patten, got to know Kim Bentley — it helped that she hung around the stage door a few times to say hello — but her husband was more or less baffled by the musical’s effect on his wife.
“He’d say, ‘Why do you keep going?’ ’’ she says, laughing. “It was just a really cathartic experience — and I had a lot of pregnancy hormones.’’
She doesn’t anymore. Kim Bentley’s daughter Jovie was born a couple of weeks ago, and the 8-day-old infant accompanied her mom to a champagne toast with the cast before Sunday’s closing night. (Patten and ART artistic director Diane Paulus held the baby.)
Asked if she’ll be in the audience if, as seems likely, “Jagged Little Pill’’ makes its way to Broadway, Kim Bentley says yes.
“I’d want to see how it changed,’’ she says. “At this point, I have the show pretty well memorized, so I would totally make the trip to see it.’’