Chicago Street Theatre Presents NEXT TO NORMAL To Bring Awareness To Mental Health

The Tony Award-winning rock musical "Next to Normal" will run from April 26 to May 11.

By: Apr. 22, 2024
Chicago Street Theatre Presents NEXT TO NORMAL To Bring Awareness To Mental Health
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Chicago Street Theatre invites audiences to take a deeper look at the effects that mental illness has on individuals and their families as it presents the Tony Award-winning rock musical "Next to Normal" from April 26 to May 11.

Book/lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, "Next to Normal" opened on Broadway in 2009 and went on to win Tonys for its score and orchestration that year. In 2010, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for its powerful depiction of a family's struggle to care for a member who suffers from bipolar disorder.

Using music and emotion to convey the inner thoughts of its characters, "Next to Normal" revolves around a woman named Diana Goodman whose disorder is complicated by the grief she sustains from the tragic loss of her son. She has visions of her son as a young man and shifts in and out of fantasy. Diana begins dreaming of a happier past and her delusions increase the distance of the relationship she has between her husband Dan and her daughter Natalie. Dan deals with his own depression while Natalie is high-strung at school. Seeking a sense of normalcy, both become worried over Diana as she tries to get treated.

Playing the complex role of Diana is Heather Clark who you may have seen in other musicals throughout Northwest Indiana. Clark said Diana's journey is one the audience can connect to because we see how she is trying to be there for her family.

"We all have moms, know moms, are moms, so yes, I think she is relatable in that aspect" she said. While her mental illness is more advanced than some, many of us either have grappled with depression or anxiety, or know someone who has. Diana's struggles affect her whole family, and that story is universal."

The story also hits a personal note for the show's director, Mike Glorioso, who lost a family member to cancer last year.

"Working on this show is helping me to heal some of the pain I am feeling from this loss. I believe it will help others as well when they watch it. It has a lot of depth, meaning and some lighthearted and beautiful moments that just make you smile. It truly is not a sad show but rather a show of hope, love, and self-discovery with a kick-ass score of music," said Glorioso, who has directed a range of musical shows at CST, most recently "Rent" in 2023.

Presenting "Next to Normal'' to an audience, Glorioso said along with mental health awareness, the show conveys how important it is to seek help for the well-being of both you and your family.

Along with Clark, the cast for "Next to Normal'' includes Connor O'Dell (Gabe), Emma Radtke (Natalie), Garrett Sisamis (Dan), Jack Olson (Henry), Dylan Reed Leavitt (Doctor Fine/Doctor Madden understudy), Rob Morris (Doctor Madden), Alyssa Zagoreos (Diana understudy/pit singer), Jack Reichert (Henry understudy/pit singer), Julia Thorn (Natalie understudy/dancer/pit singer). Katelyn Leonard-White serves as the show's musical director and Ashleigh Happer as assistant director.

Tickets and More Information

Tickets can be purchased on our website, Prices are $25 for Adults, $22 for Seniors 62+, Students under 21, and those with Military ID. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for a group rate of $20 per ticket.

"Next to Normal" will run for nine performances: Friday, April 26 - 8 pm; Saturday, April 27 - 8 pm; Sunday, April 28 - 2:30 pm; Friday, May 3 - 8 pm; Saturday,. May 4 - 8 pm; Sunday, May 5 - 2:30 pm; Thursday, May 9 - 7:30 pm; Friday, May 10 - 8 pm; and Saturday, May 11 - 8 pm. Audience members should note the production contains adult themes and language, mental illness, and depictions of drug use/abuse.

Chicago Street Theatre is located 154 W. Chicago St. in Valparaiso.


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