Next To Normal @ 5th Avenue Theater

Every year I watch The Tony Awards to hear at least one song from a couple of the new musicals. The year Next To Normal was on it instantly struck me, going on to win best new musical. The soundtrack easily entered my top ten. Finally getting to see the show I can say that the Next To Normal is one of the best I’ve seen. Next To Normal is a family portrait blurred by a heavily medicated mother with psychotic tendencies. The music is loud and the production is in your face. The stage is a multi-tiered structure with moving panels and lots of lighting, was a mixed bag. The scaffolding used for the bones of the set often seem in the way.While the scene transitions are seamless and the lighting is excellently cued. The score permeated with electric guitar and loud drums, but the songs and melodies are almost classic broadway, and will stick with you for days. This touring production has the leads from the Broadway show, which recently closed. Unfortunately the show I saw was Alice Ripley‘s first night back after being out sick for days. Her voice was great at times, when she had to go loud and big it was hard to listen to. Having the soundtrack I knew what it should have sounded like, the rest of the audience left confused. I still loved the show. The rest of the cast was perfect and the story is so strong, I teared up several times during the second act. I will definitely see it again, and would like to see it made into a movie.


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