Friday, June 05, 2009

Next to Normal and the 2009 Tony Awards

Could Next to Normal win many of the 2009 Tony Awards?

I really enjoy the Broadway theater, not just because I am in the ticketing end of the business. Although I started out in Broadway ticket sales 31 years ago, I have since had the privilege of seeing hundreds of Broadway Shows. Many of them have had an impact on me over the years but its not very often that the average Broadway musical gets you to think deeply about serious issues in one's life. Next to Normal is one of those shows that comes along once in a decade or so whereby you will feel things you never have in the Broadway theater. Probably even cry a little.

Next to Normal is a dramatic musical that has been nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2009. Second only to Billy Elliot. I loved them both but let me tell you a little about Next to Normal. The show follows the lives of a suburban family (mom, dad, son and daughter) at a time when Diana, the mom (played by Alice Ripley), sure to win the BEST ACTRESS Tony Award this year fights an ongoing mental illness for many years while the entire family simply tries to cope with difficult issues that come up all the time. As I sit here and write this blog, I can't help but think that we all know someone, or some family that has had to deal with family crises of medical or mental concerns. Although the subject matter is a serious one, a can guarantee that you'll leave the theater knowing that you've seen one of the most thought provoking and exciting pieces of theater ever to take place on a Broadway stage.

As I previously mentioned, Alice Ripley does a marvelous job in the role of Diana. Dan, her husband, is played by J. Robert Spencer. Mr. Spencer is best known for for his key role as Nick Massi as an original cast member in Jersey Boys a few years back. Although he is nominated as well for the BEST ACTOR in a MUSICAL category, he may have a hard time beating out others in the category, mostly due to the outstanding performances by the "3 Billy's" in Billy Elliot. I love Mr. Spencer's work in the theater.

In addition to the three awards I mentioned that Next to Normal is nominated for, they are also nominated for Tony Awards for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Jennifer Damiano), Best Direction of a Musical (Michael Greif), Best Book of a Musical (Brian Yorkey), Best Original Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey), Best Orchestrations (Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Mark Wendland), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Kevin Adams) and Best Sound Design of a Musical (Brian Ronan).

Awards are one thing. Seeing the brilliant and often emotional material acted out on a Broadway stage is something you'll remember over the years. I sure hope Next to Normal gets their fair share of Tony Award accolades. They really do deserve some, at least five or six in my opinion. Billy Elliot should win at least 6 or 7 Tony Awards although many in the industry think they will win many more. I guess its not easy being one of the "Tony voters" when you have 2 fantastic and very different pieces of theater running at the same time like Next to Normal and Billy Elliot. Personally I think if you have time, it makes sense to treat yourself to tickets to both of them. You'll be so glad you did, really you will be.

If you think Next to Normal is a show you might care to see, we would welcome the opportunity to be of service to you. Our company Applause Theater Service, offers a personal service to theater-goers all over the world. We are a locally New York State licensed ticket agency (The Broadway ticket experts some say) selling all the Broadway Shows. We have an office in New York City's theater district and are open seven days a week.

Although tickets to see Next to Normal and Billy Elliot will be hard to come by in 2009, there are many excellent Broadway Shows that we can suggest for you as well, nearly 30 of them. If you give us a call at 212-307-7050 in New York or toll free at 800-451-9930, we would help you out in the very best way we can. Remember to watch the 2009 Tony Awards on CBS this Sunday June 7, 2009 from 8-11pm. Talk with you soon friends.

Sincerely,
Rich Gladstone
Applause Theater Service
311 West 43rd Street, suite 601
NY,NY 10036
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