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and exceptional performances from the entire cast.”
– Richard Green, TalkinBroadway
“Scorching intensity, dotted with dark humor.”
– Andrea Torrence, St. Louis Theatre Snob
“New Line Theatre’s Next to Normal is nothing less than extraordinary.”
– Kevin Brackett, ReviewSTL
“New Line Theatre sets the local standard for musical theatre. . . This is a show you must see.”
– Chris Gibson, BroadwayWorld
“Amazing acting and singing. . . an affecting and thought-provoking night of theatre.”
– Laura Kyro, KDHX
“Everything about it is outstanding.” – Steve Allen, StageDoorSTL
From the composer of High Fidelity comes the most adult, most mature rock musical to hit Broadway in decades, an unrelentingly intense, brutally honest – and often, darkly funny – story about a bipolar woman and the family that grapples with her illness, all set to a hard driving rock and roll score that explodes with raw, searing emotion. Rolling Stone called it “the best new musical of the season – by a mile.”
New Line Theatre's 22nd season continued with the first St. Louis production of the powerhouse rock musical NEXT TO NORMAL, winner of the Tony Award for best score and the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
The New Line cast included Kimi Short (Diana), Jeffrey M. Wright (Dan), Mary Beth Black (Natalie), Ryan Foizey (Gabe), Joseph McAnulty (Henry), and Zachary Allen Farmer (Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine). The show was directed by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy, with costume design by Amy Kelly, lighting design by Sean Savoie, scenic design by Scott L. Schoonover, and music direction by Justin Smolik.
Next to Normal began its life in 1998 as a ten-minute workshop sketch called Feeling Electric. Writer Brian Yorkey had brought the idea to composer Tom Kitt (High Fidelity, Bring It On) while both were at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Both Yorkey and Kitt moved on to other projects, but they kept returning to their ten-minute piece, eventually expanding it to full-length. This version went through several workshops as the team kept working on it. In September 2005, an abbreviated version of the full-length piece was part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it attracted some attention. Second Stage Theatre in New York workshopped the piece in 2006 and 2007, with director Michael Greif (Rent, Peter and the Starcatcher, Jane Eyre, Grey Gardens) at the helm.
The New York Times said about it, "No show on Broadway right now makes as direct a grab for the heart -- or wrings it as thoroughly -- as Next to Normal does. This brave, breathtaking musical focuses squarely on the pain that cripples the members of a suburban family, and never for a minute does it let you escape the anguish at the core of their lives." With a searing, ground-breaking rock score, this is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other in the midst of one woman's fierce battle with bipolar disorder. It's one of the most emotional, most intense musicals in years."
New Line's Next to Normal
the original title of Next to Normal
to explore more? We recommend:
The website for the limited Next to Normal national tour, including reviews, merchandise, audio and video links, and much more.
Director Scott Miller's background and analysis essay
The original production's ground-breaking "Twitter Performance" of the show, which played out the action of the story in real time, over Twitter.
New Line Theatre's Next to Normal Blogs
Links to all the New York reviews of the show on the Did He Like It site