Next to Normal?

coolkid11776
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Next to Normal? #1
Posted: 3/3/08 at 4:22pm
I hear that this show is good but again what's it about? I've heard that it's closing the 15th but it sounds good the problem is that I won't be in untill the 22nd any chance of it extending a week?
Rent The best show on Broadway. I was at the closing. BEST night of my Life. April 29th 1996-September 7th 2008 12 years of love "No Day But Today"
snl89
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re: Next to Normal? #2
Posted: 3/3/08 at 4:24pm
unfortunately, I don't believe it has a chance of extending past te 16th re: Next to Normal?

It IS, however, a brilliant show imo :) extremely unique, innovative, with some of the strongest performances I've seen in a long time.

Let us all hope that the creative team continues working on it, as seems to be their plan, and that it gets an open run sometime in 2009 or so!!
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
Yankeefan007
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re: Next to Normal? #2
Posted: 3/3/08 at 4:26pm
It's the kind of rock musical that sets Spring Awakening back a few hundred years. Has intelligent lyrics and a very melodic score. Unlike Spring Awakening.
jake6970
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re: Next to Normal? #3
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:16pm
It's a great rock musical. Heavy subject matter, but great music. Unlike yankeefan's views, I would say it's not quite as good as SA, but it's definitely awesome.
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tonytonytony
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re: Next to Normal? #4
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:25pm
In this over-stimulated and pharmaceutically-obsessed world, one seemingly normal suburban family comes to grips with a long buried secret in this haunting and darkly funny new musical. With provocative lyrics and an electrifying score, Next to Normal explores the lengths to which we'll go to keep ourselves sane and our families in place. featuring Alice Ripley (Ripley made her Broadway debut in The Who's Tommy in 1993.

Ripley's performance as one half of a pair of Siamese twins in Side Show (1997) earned her critical acclaim and a Tony Award nom “Tommy”), Brian d'Arcy James (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”), Adam Chanler-Berat, Jennifer Damiano, Asa Somers, and Aaron Tveit.

"How does an almost average family navigate today's over-stimulated and over-medicated world? In this darkly funny and haunting new musical, one suburban household confronts its past and its future. With provocative lyrics and an electrifying score, Next to Normal explores how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their world intact," describe press notes.

WOW what an emotional rollercoaster ride. It felt like I was back in the audience for the electrifying “Tommy”. This was a wonderful Off-Broadway production. This show had great performances and truly touching. A stand out performance by 16 year old Jennifer Damiano that was in the original cast I saw of Spring Awakening as the youngest performer in that cast. It also starred Brian d'Arcy James (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”), who did a great performance! This ranks as one of my favorite off-Broadway experiences
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Jane2
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re: Next to Normal? #5
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:35pm
I didn't think it was great. It takes a very serious subject matter which could be very unique for a musical stage experience, but treats it musically and lyrically like it's about someone with PMS.

I admired the performances-they are a talented group of actors and singers.
<-----I'M TOTES ROLLING MY EYES
coolkid11776
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re: Next to Normal? #5
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:35pm
Heavy subject matter? What do u mean like Spring Awakening heavy?
Rent The best show on Broadway. I was at the closing. BEST night of my Life. April 29th 1996-September 7th 2008 12 years of love "No Day But Today"
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burntplains
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re: Next to Normal? #7
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:48pm
IT makes Spring Awakening look boring.. GO SEE THIS SHOW!
coolkid11776
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re: Next to Normal? #8
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:50pm
What do u mean it makes SA look Boring?
Rent The best show on Broadway. I was at the closing. BEST night of my Life. April 29th 1996-September 7th 2008 12 years of love "No Day But Today"
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re: Next to Normal? #9
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:54pm
It's in a different league than SA...
Yankeefan007
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re: Next to Normal? #10
Posted: 3/3/08 at 6:03pm
It makes Spring Awakening look boring?

Spring Awakening IS boring.
jake6970
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re: Next to Normal? #11
Posted: 3/3/08 at 6:07pm
Since we're so into comparing Spring Awakening and Next to Normal, I would put N2N at slightly less entertaining, although still amazing. To me, Spring Awakening is not boring at all. n2n isn't either, so if you loved spring awakening, you're likely to love n2n as well.
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folkyboy
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re: Next to Normal? #12
Posted: 3/3/08 at 6:27pm
they better record Next To Normal because just the idea of hearing Asa, Alice & Brian in my iPod everyday just gives me chills!
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jordangirl
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re: Next to Normal? #13
Posted: 3/3/08 at 8:47pm
It is spectacular and amazing. Go see it!!

But yeah...based on conversations with the cast last week, I would say its definitely not extending.
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
snl89
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re: Next to Normal? #14
Posted: 3/3/08 at 9:03pm
Heavy subject matter? What do u mean like Spring Awakening heavy?

In a lot of regards, yeah, it's probably equally as heavy as SA. In fact, I think that parts of it may be even HARDER for some people to handle simply because it deals with a subject matter that hits surprisingly close to home for many people who grow up in a more or less "typical" suburban setting. Spring Awakening, because it focuses on teens and "coming of age" problems, can be a little bit easier to swallow than some of the things in Next to Normal.

That said, I feel like Next to Normal's ENDING is far, far more hopefull and healing than SA's :) Which is funny because back when it was Feeling Electric, the show was soooo so incredibly dark that I think it was almost verging on a turn off. But now they've really found this great balance between the darkness and humore, and changed the ending a bit to make it way more easy to take. So you basically end up walking out feeling.. like you've been to a really good therapy session! That's how I like to describe it, anyway.



aaand I personally absolutely adore Spring Awakening as well, so I'm not going to say I think NtN is BETTER, but it's certainly just as innovative and clever a show as SA is. And I have a feeling that, with just a liiittle bit of re-writing of the book, the book will be stronger than SA's re: Next to Normal? But honestly, I feel like you can't compare the two shows that much, because they're really very very different. NtN is completely different from ANY other show out there I think.



they better record Next To Normal because just the idea of hearing Asa, Alice & Brian in my iPod everyday just gives me chills!

I may or may not have heard from someone who was talking to Tom Kitt the other night that Tom says there will def be a recording re: Next to Normal? thank you LORD. omg. I can't wait! *thinks about the amazingness that will be this cast on my ipod*
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
Updated On: 3/3/08 at 09:03 PM
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jordangirl
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re: Next to Normal? #15
Posted: 3/4/08 at 6:40am
Oh snl,. you're so cryptic! But yay! It's definitely on my list of things to ask if I see him again at the theatre. :)

I just realized no one corrected the closing date. It's March 16, not the 15th. re: Next to Normal? I know because I'll be there.
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
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bjh2114
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re: Next to Normal? #16
Posted: 3/4/08 at 10:54am
I'm not going to say I think NtN is BETTER

I WILL!! Haha. Next to Normal puts Spring Awakening to shame. The music is fantastic, and wait ... the lyrics actually make sense? Go figure. Next to Normal is a very smart show that doesn't rely on teenagers touching themselves to grab the audience's attention. Go see it if you can before it closes.
Roscoe
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re: Next to Normal? #17
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:16am
Right, N2N doesn't rely on teenagers touching themselves, it just relies on a tired hackneyed plot, second rate music and third-rate lyrics and some pretty good performances to make what small impact it makes.
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
Elphie68
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re: Next to Normal? #18
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:16am
IMHO, this show is one of the best theater experiences I have ever had. It is funny, touching, enlightening, etc. It is everything you could want in a show. It is by no means perfect but it perfectly delivers what a show should, which is an emotionally engaging evening. Let's just say I keep going back for "more, and more, and more" *g*

Alice Ripley...once you see her, you realize there are really no words to describe what she does on stage. Amazing is accurate but woefully inadequate.

Brian D'Arcy James, makes me cry from his first note. He is so incredibly moving and vulnerable in this piece.

Aaron Tveit...what can I say he embodies Gabe so fully that it is scary. He sings like an angel and is graceful as a cat bounding around the set.

The acting and the score of this show are wonderful. If anyone is considering whether to see it, please go. You will not regret it. Do not be put off by the subject matter. Yes, it is an emotional piece but that is not a bad thing. Side Show was very heavy and it was apparently quite simply one of the most wonderful shows ever. Pretty much everyone looks back and says that the closing of that show was a travesty. Just saying, don't be afraid of being worked out emotionally. That is theater at it's best guys.
Roscoe
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re: Next to Normal? #19
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:21am
IMHO, N2N was useless. The creative team should just pat it on the head and file it in the "We Tried, It Didn't Work, Better Luck Next Time" file.
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
Updated On: 3/4/08 at 11:21 AM
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Liverpool
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re: Next to Normal? #20
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:32am
funny roscoe, i have the same reaction almost every single one of your posts regarding theatre. Except just quit instead of better luck next time.
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bjh2114
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re: Next to Normal? #21
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:32am
You have got to be kidding me, Roscoe. First of all, how is the plot at all tired, commonplace, or hackneyed? I certainly haven't seen another show with the same plot. Also, the music is a fantastic rock score with a melody that doesn't rely on its performers just screaming out high notes. And the lyrics make perfect sense in context of the show. My one complaint would be the excessive use of the F word, but otherwise the lyrics are great. You say that Elphie needs more theatre experience, but if the show had but a small impact on you, then perhaps you need more life experience.
snl89
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re: Next to Normal? #22
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:36am
Right, N2N doesn't rely on teenagers touching themselves, it just relies on a tired hackneyed plot, second rate music and third-rate lyrics and some pretty good performances to make what small impact it makes.


Ok, the music and lyrics I can understand are just a matter of opinion (I happen to think they're extremely, extremely well written and inteligent. Sure, there are a couuuple little things that maybe could be changed, but over all I love them). And so is the plot I suppose- but to call it tired and hackneyed? You can dislike the plot all you want, but "tired and hackneyed" implies that you think it's overused and common. Or, in other words, cliche, no? I'm sorry, but can you name me ANY other show that explores the issues that are explored in NtN?

I just... think it's really interesting that you chose those specific words, because I happen to think that's possibly the BEST thing the show has got going for it. It's COMPLETELY unique and different from anything I at least have ever seen. Maybe I just havn't seen enough, but... are there really other shows that explore mental illness and how it effects seemingly typical suburban families? I'm truly curious, because if there are, I'd love to hear more about them! haha



And Elphie68, I pretty much agree with every single thing you said :)



I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
Updated On: 3/4/08 at 11:36 AM
Roscoe
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re: Next to Normal? #23
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:36am
Well, I was fortunate enough not to have an emotionally unbalanced drug-addled mother who was coerced into suicide attempts by a delusional vision of a dead child, so I guess I just can't know what N2N was talking about.

As for the show being tired and hackneyed, what can I say. I was bored senseless. It all felt very very familiar. That device of a character on stage turning out to be dead or a figment of someone's imagination has been used in plays/films like PROOF and FOXFIRE and ANGELS IN AMERICA and FIGHT CLUB and THE SIXTH SENSE and it just wasn't very interesting to me. At all. The shock treatment scene felt like a Dennis Potter/Bob Fosse knock off, right out of THE SINGING DETECTIVE/ALL THAT JAZZ.

The rest of the show, the Expose of the Emptiness of Upper-Middle-Class Suburbia felt like a musical version of AMERICAN BEAUTY or an episode of SIX FEET UNDER, or even just plain old everyday soap opera.

As for the score, well. The most memorable thing about it was how unmemorable it was.

C'est la vie.

I removed the comment about needing to have more and better theatrical experiences, on a second reading it was needlessly mean, even by my standards.
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
Updated On: 3/4/08 at 11:36 AM
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Liverpool
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re: Next to Normal? #24
Posted: 3/4/08 at 11:45am
did you even see the show? no one in it is a paranoid schezophrenic drug addict.