Saturday, March 24, 2012

Next to Normal at the Calderwood Pavillion - Boston Center for the Arts - A Must See

A few days ago I had the privilege of seeing a performance of "Next to Normal." It is a gut-wrenching musical play performed by an excellent ensemble cast. The play, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, treats with respect, humor and pathos the subject of mental illness and the toll that it can take on a family.

Directed by Paul Daigneault, the cast includes Chris Charon, Christopher Chew, Kerry A. Dowling, and Michael Levesque. A special shout-out goes to two current Boston Conservatory students, Michael Tacconi and Sarah Drake. In the roles of Gabe and Natalie, children of a mother who suffers from bipolar disorder, they hold their own very well with the Equity actors in the cast.


by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey | Directed by Paul Daigneault | Music by Tom Kitt | Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Calderwood Pavilion Resident Theatre Company at the BCA

“Grade: A. Agonizingly beautiful!”Entertainment Weekly

Featuring a compelling and surging pop rock score, Next to Normal shatters through the fa├žade of a suburban family dealing with the direct and indirect effects of mental illness. Winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this intense, emotional and ultimately hopeful musical makes a direct grab for the heart with its story of a family coming to terms with its past and bravely facing its future.

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I was recently in NYC and ended up meeting a couple from the Boston area who see a lot of theater - in Boston and in New York. We began sharing theater-going experiences, and they made the following statement: "We just saw 'Next to Normal' in Boston, and found it to be the most moving play we have ever seen. You must see it." I am glad that I took their recommendation. It is, indeed, a very moving play and beautifully executed production.

This production will be running through April 15.



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