Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Longing for Normalcy

Doesn’t everyone long to be Normal? Or have the Normal family? Most people think that everyone else around is normal except them. I hear people say all the time to other people “I wish my family was normal like yours”. Truth is, in this day and age every family has struggles to deal with. Hence the very popular term used today “disfunctional family”. Whatever it may be from divorce to mental illness, these days we all have issues that seem to make it difficult for a family to survive together. NEXT TO NORMAL is a musical that deals with one such family that is struggling to hold together in the midst of a Mother’s long term battle with mental illness. This may not seem like a topic to write a musical about but believe me this powerhouse show is so full of emotion you can’t help but be left overwhelmed.
This small Rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt was nominated this year for 11 Tony Awards including Best New Musical. Although it did not win that category, it is still one of the best new shows you could see. It did win the Tony Award for the show’s lead actress Alice Ripley who gives a very moving performance as the Mother struggling to hold things together in her life. It also won the Tony for Best New Score and Orchestrations.
If you like a show that delivers much more than song and dance entertainment then check out this show. You won’t be disappointed…I have seen it twice already and am looking forward to seeing it again.

H. Todd Freeman
Vice President/OperationsApplause Theatre & Entertainment Service, Inc.
311 West 43rd Street, Ste 601 New York, NY 10036
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