Monday, June 08, 2009

Broadway Monday

Next to Normal A typical American family deals with love and loss as one of its members struggles with her illness. Having seen this show recently, I'm not sure the synopsis above, found in the promo material, really explains much about the show, but then I have no idea how you explain this show in a complete fashion let alone a couple of sentences. I'm still finding amazing correlations and insights a full month after having been so honored to have been in the Booth Theatre last month.
Diana, Dan, Gabe, and Natalie are the typical American family full of love and hope, fear and dysfunction. This brilliant show rips the blinders off the topic of bipolar disorder and thrusts you headlong into how this family deals with life events that change them forever. Change is hard and not always good.
Brian Yorkey, writer and lyricist and Tom Kitt, composer have been on a 10-year development cycle with this show and have honed it to it's current perfect state. The 11 Tony Awards nominations bestowed on it are proof. The music is catchy, poignant, heartbreaking, and haunting. I couldn't wait to get my copy of the recording and haven't listened to anything else all month. It truly is a work of art.
Silently making it's indelible impression on the audience is the three-tiered stage that houses the orchestra and doubles as the family's home. Absolutely incredible and brilliant use of the small stage in the Booth Theatre. Stunning. The brilliant and quirky Alice Ripley plays mother/wife Diana who is at the heart of the story and tells it with such passion and strength that I honestly don't know how they will replace her when her run is over. She is that good. Tony buzz has her as the favorite for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. My fingers are crossed. I could go on and on...and I most likely will in another post because this show has absolutely changed my understanding and made me think..hard. You can see a great interview and clips from the show here or visit the official site which is what made me rush to get tickets.
Next to Normal opened April 15, 2009 is currently playing at the Booth Theatre on an open-ended run.
This just in!
Next to Normal received three Tony Awards last night! Wins for Best Orchestration and Best Score are being celebrated as well as Best Actress in a Musical for the amazing Alice Ripley! Congrats to all!

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