This is such a wonderful show. Everything you want in a musical. It won Tonys for its score and orchestration and it won the Pulitzer. There is such lightness and dark to a piece that I can unashamedly say, since I first saw it last year, is my favourite musical. And as I explained to my friend in no uncertain terms as we travelled through Sydney’s peak hour traffic and pouring rain… I’m going to be very cross if they fuck it up!
They did not.
UNSW Musical Theatre Society has produced a thrilling production of NEXT TO NORMAL . It is irrelevant that this work is being done by students acting outside their age range, in a wartime shed that I performed in as an undergrad a lifetime ago, to an opening night audience of friends and relos. For me, this was a night to remember, a production to cherish and cast to keep an eye out for. Continue reading UNSW MUSICAL THEATRE SOCIETY PRESENTS NEXT TO NORMAL @ STUDIO ONE THEATRE, UNSW→
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→
The long anticipated Sydney premiere of this rock opera/musical is revealed to be one of the best shows in town at the moment .The small cast packs a terrific emotional punch. The show deals with very difficult subject matter (mental illness, dysfunctional families). Issues such as suicide, grieving the loss of a loved one , drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and the underbelly of suburban life are also examined .
NEXT TO NORMAL- book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, opened on Broadway in 2009, running until 2011 and garnering Tony nominations and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama .Since then the show has toured in versions around the US and has also had international productions.