Rachel Bay Jones to Lead NEXT TO NORMAL at the Kennedy Center

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Michael Park’s bouncing from one topical pop-rock musical with mental illness as a major theme to another.
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thealtoslament said: "Michael Park’s bouncing from one topical pop-rock musical with mental illness as a major theme to another. "

Uh, can’t the same be said about Rachel Bay Jones? Considering they’re coming from... the same musical? Lol

Updated On: 1/8/20 at 09:43 AM
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Well this is exciting!
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Please see Post #6 in this thread. I am a Super Genius and am available for all of your prognostication/casting needs. Rachel Bay Jones to Lead NEXT TO NORMAL at the Kennedy Center

Updated On: 1/8/20 at 10:08 AM
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Never mind, I misread which part Park got! Still, partial credit. :)
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GreasedLightning said: "thealtoslament said: "Michael Park’s bouncing from one topical pop-rock musical with mental illness as a major theme to another. "

Uh, can’t the same be said about Rachel Bay Jones? Considering they’re coming from... the same musical? Lol
"

Can't leave out Ben Levi Ross! So 3 of 6 were in Dear Evan Hansen? 

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Rosette3 said: "GreasedLightning said: "thealtoslament said: "Michael Park’s bouncing from one topical pop-rock musical with mental illness as a major theme to another. "

Uh, can’t the same be said about Rachel Bay Jones? Considering they’re coming from... the same musical? Lol
"

Can't leave out Ben Levi Ross! So 3 of 6 were in Dear Evan Hansen?
"

Not all that surprising given that Michael Greif is directing. Given the short run and rehearsal process, I expect he called on people he knew and had recently worked with. 

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I'm very excited about Maia Reficco as Natalie - just saw her as Young Eva in Evita at City Center. I was initially very disappointed that they were splitting the role between a younger and an older Eva (and still don't think it adds much, other than a nice moment in Another Suitcase), but watching Maia in the early sections of the show, I was half-wishing that we'd get to watch her play the rest of it... really interesting acting and an exciting voice. I think she'll be a great fit.

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South Florida said: "I saw what this show did to Alice Ripley, by tour time she was burnt and probably shouldn't have done it. Rachel beat my girl for DEH, I want SJB to play this role if it becomes a revival. I can die happy after that."

I saw Alice in N2N three time. She seemed a bit burnt out the second time I saw the show on Broadway. She was absolutely at 100% when I saw the tour in Charlotte. 

It's funny... I was telling someone about Dear Evan and said "I mean they could literally take the cast of DEH and do Next to Normal" - I wasn't so far off. Now if only we could have gotten Andrew B Feldman to play Gabe! 

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That video of Rachel singing "I Miss The Mountains" they posted is disappointing. Not because of Rachel. It is shot from so far away and there are cameras clicking through the ENTIRE SONG! I know it was a press day, but couldn't they say, "take a few photos now before she starts." She's one person standing at a podium. There's no great action shot. All you hear is clicking. So irritating. If I were Rachel I would have been irritated. 

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
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hicaesar said: "South Florida said: "I saw what this show did to Alice Ripley, by tour time she was burnt and probably shouldn't have done it. Rachel beat my girl for DEH, I want SJB to play this role if it becomes a revival. I can die happy after that."

I saw Alice in N2N three time. She seemed a bit burnt out the second time I saw the show on Broadway. She was absolutely at 100% when I saw the tour in Charlotte.

It's funny... I was telling someone about Dear Evan and said "I mean they could literally take the cast of DEH and do Next to Normal" - I wasn't so far off. Now if only we could have gotten Andrew B Feldman to play Gabe!
"

I’m surprised to hear you think she was at 100% in Charlotte. I saw 3 performances in Charlotte, the last two of Ripley before she missed both shows on Sunday. She really really struggled at times. During Just Another Day I could barely hear her and the end of “So anyway” was basically spoken. But she still could belt when called upon. 

"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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qolbinau said: "hicaesar said: "South Florida said: "I saw what this show did to Alice Ripley, by tour time she was burnt and probably shouldn't have done it. Rachel beat my girl for DEH, I want SJB to play this role if it becomes a revival. I can die happy after that."

I saw Alice in N2N three time. She seemed a bit burnt out the second time I saw the show on Broadway. She was absolutely at 100% when I saw the tour in Charlotte.

It's funny... I was telling someone about Dear Evan and said "I mean they could literally take the cast of DEH and do Next to Normal" - I wasn't so far off. Now if only we could have gotten Andrew B Feldman to play Gabe!
"

I’m surprised to hear you think she was at 100% in Charlotte. I saw 3 performances in Charlotte, the last two of Ripley before she missed both shows on Sunday. She really really struggled at times. During Just Another Day I could barely hear her and the end of “So anyway” was basically spoken. But she still could belt when called upon.
"

I wonder what her overall attendance percentage was on that tour. When I saw it in St. Louis her understudy Pearl Sun was on, and she was really spectacular.

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Side step: but just saw Pearl Sun in Come From Away and would love to see her take on Diana.
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I also saw Pearl Sun with the Dan understudy too and it was a great performance. While it may not have that unusual or unique aesthetic of Alice Ripley’s performance, it was beautifully sung and the harmonies were so clear and strong it was like watching a different show.

But of course, when my eyes are not open, which is most of the time, it’s Marin Mazzie’s performance that is my favourite. Her voice was an unusual choice but for me it’s what made it more shocking when she would practically bark during You Don’t Know (I notice going back she grew into the role and they either changed the keys or she began to belt a bit more in time because a video of the first performance shows her to be rather tame). Watching her actual husband witness her Diana break down on stage was also novel, and I am just glad they had that experience together.

I wish I could have seen Ripley at her peak.
"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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It's getting closer!! I have been debating on and off for months on whether or not I should blow some money and get a ticket, and of course at the end of the day there really is no debate.

Going next Thursday and it's all I have been thinking about! Was able to snag a single ticket in the orchestra to treat myself, I usually buy the cheap seats and did not want to miss out on RBJ as Alice. 

There were still a decent amount of tickets left, more seats together than I expected.

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hicaesar said: "South Florida said: "I saw what this show did to Alice Ripley, by tour time she was burnt and probably shouldn't have done it. Rachel beat my girl for DEH, I want SJB to play this role if it becomes a revival. I can die happy after that."

I saw Alice in N2N three time. She seemed a bit burnt out the second time I saw the show on Broadway. She was absolutely at 100% when I saw the tour in Charlotte.

It's funny... I was telling someone about Dear Evan and said "I mean they could literally take the cast of DEH and do Next to Normal" - I wasn't so far off. Now if only we could have gotten Andrew B Feldman to play Gabe!
"

Andrew Barth Feldman would make a horrible Gabe. Gabe and Evan are literally opposite ends of the casting spectrum. Evan is a meant to be the very definition of an introvert, meek, shy, a “nerd”. Gabe on the other hand is Diana’s idealized version of the perfect son, a literal “Superboy”. If Andrew wants to bulk up and add at least a good 10lbs of muscle to he frame we can talk, but as of right now he would be the antithesis of Gabe. 
If you were going to do Dear Evan Hansen and Next to Normal in rep the following roles would be paired.

 

Diana Goodman - Heidi Hanson or Cythia Murphy with the other acting as a standby

Dan Goodman - Larry Murphy

Natalie Goodman - Zoe Murphy or Alana Beck

Gabe Goodman - Connor Murphy

Henry - Evan Hansen

Dr Madden/ Doctor Fine - if keeping the roles doubled - Jared Kleinman if splitting them up Doctor Fine (whichever mother isn’t playing Diana) and Dr Madden - Jared Kleinman

 

 

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qolbinau said: "I also saw Pearl Sun with the Dan understudy too and it was a great performance. While it may not have that unusual or unique aesthetic of Alice Ripley’s performance, it was beautifully sung and the harmonies were so clear and strong it was like watching a different show.

But of course, when my eyes are not open, which is most of the time, it’s Marin Mazzie’s performance that is my favourite. Her voice was an unusual choice but for me it’s what made it more shocking when she would practically bark during You Don’t Know (I notice going back she grew into the role and they either changed the keys or she began to belt a bit more in time because a video of the first performance shows her to be rather tame). Watching her actual husband witness her Diana break down on stage was also novel, and I am just glad they had that experience together.

I wish I could have seen Ripley at her peak.
"

I found Marin to be incredible and probably the best Diana, in part due to her vocal training. She was able to sustain her voice during the entire run and delivered on the acting. I saw Alice in previews and it was an iconic performance. She was in spectacular voice and firing on all cylinders. I didn't think anyone could top her. 

Friends who saw the show after her vocal problems set in did not care for her. Had trouble understanding her and she was off the rails. I think Alice's Diana got more manic as the run progressed. Many friends returned to see Marin and felt like they were seeing a different show and loved it.

I found Marin more grounded and heartbreaking. Alice was more elevated and kabuki at times. Very impressive but different. I'm glad I saw Alice early in the run. 

 

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I saw the show early in the run and it remains one of the theatre going highlights of my life. Alice's Diana was and remains the best performance I have ever seen anywhere. But I have to echo what others are saying about the quality of her performance as the run wore on - honestly, the vocal stuff didn't bother me as much as the overall changes she made to the character, though I don't know if I'd necessarily consider her more manic later in the run. Definitely less angry, though, and sillier. The thing that sticks out most to me is the moment when Diana is demanding to know Gabe's name. When I first saw it she shoved Dan away and absolutely screamed, "WHAT WAS HIS NAAAAAAAME?" and I remember feeling bolted to my seat in the rear mezzanine. In later performances I waited for that line and that reading, but it was never that intense again, and at her final performance she asked it in complete monotone, punctuated by drawing a question mark in the air with the music box.

I know you. I know you. I know you.
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GlindatheGood22 said: "I saw the show early in the run and it remains one of the theatre going highlights of my life. Alice's Diana was and remains the best performance I have ever seen anywhere. But I have to echo what others are saying about the quality of her performance as the run wore on - honestly, the vocal stuff didn't bother me as much as the overall changes she made to the character, though I don't know if I'd necessarily consider her more manic later in the run. Definitely less angry, though, and sillier. The thing that sticks out most to me is the moment when Diana is demanding to know Gabe's name. When I first saw it she shoved Dan away and absolutely screamed, "WHAT WAS HIS NAAAAAAAME?" and I remember feeling bolted to my seat in the rear mezzanine. In later performances I waited for that line and that reading, but it was never that intense again, and at her final performance she asked it in complete monotone, punctuated by drawing a question mark in the air with the music box."

Glinda, I’m with you. I was transfixed by Alice during previews. My jaw was on the floor and she had me sobbing. Histrionics later in the run made me scratch my head. Her performance on tour was very subdued. Nothing like what I originally saw. 
 

Revisiting the show with Marin brought me back to the heartbreak and the gravity of the piece. 

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At intermission of the first performance. This cast is FANTASTIC. This could totally transfer, as-is, for an outstanding revival.
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pdjennings said: "At intermission of the first performance. This cast is FANTASTIC. This could totally transfer, as-is, for an outstanding revival.
"

I cannot wait to see this on Saturday!

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n2nbaby said: "pdjennings said: "At intermission of the first performance. This cast is FANTASTIC. This could totally transfer, as-is, for an outstanding revival.
"

I cannot wait to see this on Saturday!
"

I will also be seeing this on Saturday. I have never seen a "semi-staged concert" so I have no idea what to expect but so glad to get this positive review.

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This is part of that “semi-staged/concerty” series — but other than having the band visible on stage and a sparse scaffolding set, it's basically fully staged. No notebooks, etc.
The second half was astounding. You’re in for a tear-drenched treat!