NEXT TO NORMAL Returns To Atlanta This Month

Performances run Saturday, July 23 at 8PM and Sunday, July 24 at 2PM.

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Cobb PARKS and the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre are presenting NEXT TO NORMAL, the first in-person concert of their 2022 season. Featuring six Atlanta actors and seven musicians, this is NEXT TO NORMAL'S first return to Atlanta in nearly ten years.

The musical centers around Diana, a mother struggling with bipolar depression. "This show deals with such important conversations, issues, and moments of humanity surrounding mental health," says director Amanda Wansa Morgan. "It not only addresses what possible patients are going through when it comes to mental illness, but their families and surrounding communities."

Diana's mental health causes ripples with her family and the show explores the ways each member is affected by these struggles. "Besides winning the Pulitzer and being in my top five favorite shows of all time, NEXT TO NORMAL brings me to a very special and unique emotional place every time I step into the story," says Taylor Buice who portrays Diana's husband, Dan. "It's beautiful and REAL."

Morgan adds, "This play tells one version of a story of someone and their family dealing with these issues and I think it's important to see many stories about mental health and mental illness and their effects on our lives. When this musical came out, it showed that we can zero in on a specific family with specific issues and that mental illness affects individuals beyond the statistics we see in the media. It's even more important for us to see a variety of these stories told, because one story doesn't speak for all who deal with various diagnoses of mental illness and mental health challenges."

NEXT TO NORMAL is the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre's third concert in their five-show season, following their record-breaking streaming productions of THE LAST FIVE YEARS and THE WILD PARTY. "The Jennie T. concerts never disappoint and with the creative team lined up to work on this beautiful show I know it will be amazing," adds Mary Nye Bennett, the musical's star. Morgan concludes, "Perhaps someone can come see this show wondering how "normal" their situation is and realize that these circumstances are more common than we think."

NEXT TO NORMAL stars Mary Nye Bennett as Diana, Taylor Buice* as Dan, Golbanoo Setayesh as Natalie, Brian Wittenberg as Henry, Lilliangina Quiñones as Dr. Madden, and Jacob Ryan Smith as Gabe. The band consists of Holt McCarley, J.T. Buter, Nick Edelstein, Stephen Cox, Tramaine Jones, Noah Johnson, and Caleb Herron. This concert-staging is directed by Amanda Wansa Morgan, co-music directed by John-Michael D'Haviland and Holt McCarley, assistant directed by Joseph Pendergrast, production managed by Bobby Johnston, stage managed by Amanda Perez, assistant stage managed by Jackie Lenz, costume designed by Cole Spivia, lighting designed by Michael Carver, and sound designed by Bobby Johnston. 2 performances only: Saturday, July 23 at 8PM and Sunday, July 24 at 2PM. Tickets and information at: Click Here


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