Near the finale of NEXT TO NORMAL playing the Hayes Theatre, Diana says “It’s hard to tell the dancer from the dance.” Which is exactly how I feel about this production. It’s a Pulitzer Prize winning show with a wonderful performance at the centre and I was so emotional: angry, and sad and disturbed by the important issues that this play raises. I reflected, how were those emotions triggered? By the show or the production? Does it matter?
A normal suburban family is presented to us in the first few minutes of the opening. Diana (Natalie O’Donnell) is protecting her curfew breaking son, Gabe (Brent Trotter) from the attention of his father Dan (Anthony Harkin). Their teenage daughter, overachiever Natalie (Kiane O’Farrell) feels pretty irrelevant to this happy family. And we soon see why. The act of making sandwiches becomes a bread slice pathway into a disordered mind. Continue reading Next To Normal @ The Hayes