GRAND RAPIDS, MI. Beginning November 29, 2012, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids is proud to present the West Michigan Premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Next to Normal. With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and original music by Tom Kitt, Next to Normal originally premiered off-broadway in 2008 before a re-worked version transferred to Broadway in 2009. Critics have lauded this contemporary musical as “a feel-everything musical” and “a work that sings from a bruised heart, not a contented one” . Next to Normal was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama – one of only eight musicals ever to be given the prestigious literary award.
Next to Normal tells the story of suburban mom Diana, who struggles to battle her mental demons, brought about, in part, by bipolar disorder. Her husband Dan fights to help keep both her mind and his family stable, even as Diana decides to suddenly go “off meds.” Their sixteen year-old Natalie, on the other hand, can’t seem to escape the shadow of her mysterious eighteen year-old brother – who has a surprise of his own.
Next to Normal is a “brave, breathtaking musical ” about a family attempting to find a balance between taking care of themselves and taking care of each other.
The production will be directed by Actors’ Theatre founder and recipient of the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement award for Grand Rapids theatre, Fred Sebulske. Musical direction for the challenging score will be provided by Scott Patrick Bell. Sebulske and Bell also comprised part of the artistic team from last season’s Spring Awakening, which was awarded the 2012 Grand Award for best production of a musical.
Next to Normal will be presented on three consecutive weekends at GRCC Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, beginning on November 29, 2012. All evening performances begin at 8PM. A special benefit matinee will be presented at 2PM on Sunday, December 9, 2012 with a portion proceeds from the performance benefitting The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.
Ticket prices begin at $24 for adults and $20 for students/seniors. Students with valid ID are eligible for $10 RUSH seating, based on availability, beginning one hour before the performance. Groups of ten or more are eligible for discounts. Tickets for Next to Normal may be purchased online at http://atgr.org/next-to-normal or by contacting the Actors' Theatre business office at (616) 234-3968.
iiMarks, P. (2011, June 30). Theater review: ‘Next to Normal’ at Kennedy Center. Retrieved from The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/theater-review-next-to-normal-at-kennedy-center/2011/06/30/AGGokfsH_story.html