BWW Reviews: Weston Playhouse Presents NEXT TO NORMAL
Weston, Vermont may be the epitome of a small town. But tucked away on Park Street is a Goliath of a summer theater. Weston Playhouse is Vermont's oldest professional theater and that long-standing history continues this summer with their production of Next To Normal.
Next To Normal is an award winning rock musical that has seen Broadway success. With music by Tom Kitt and Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey, simply put, Next To Normal is a show about love, death, family, teenage angst and marriage woes. The amazing thing about this show is that it is so much better than simple bullet point adjectives.
This is a journey of Diana (Heidi Blickenstaff, [title of show], The Little Mermaid) as she struggles to live a normal life years after the loss of a child. Her husband Dan (Aaron Ramey, Jekyll & Hyde) and daughter Natalie (Margo Seibert) are left to pick up the pieces around the house. While son Gabe (Dan DeLuca, Weston 2012 Young Company) sticks around as a constant reminder of Diana's loss. Rounding out the cast are Dr. Fine/Madden (David Ayers, Wicked) and Henry (Etai BenShlomo, Wicked) whose characters are both essential in telling this dynamic story. The message is strong and challenges the emotions of any theater goer. Rest assured, the journey you will take while watching this show will be worthy of the emotional highs and lows.
The Weston stage is a perfect setting for this 6-person show. After having seen the show on Broadway, I had to remind myself to stop comparing this production to what I had previously seen. Weston's production directed by Michael Berresse, stands on its on and deserves its own identity. With subtle scenery shifts, you are never at a loss for the storyline's location. All in all, the show makes great use of the Weston Playhouse stage.
Weston's version of Next To Normal is a smart and fresh take of this riveting show. If you are anywhere near this charming Vermont town then it is a must see. Next To Normal continues it's run until July 27. For tickets, visit www.westonplayhouse.org or call 802-824-5288.
The remainder of Weston Playhouse's 2013 Summer Season includes 42nd Street, To Kill A Mockingbird, Loving Leo and This Blessed Plot. If the rest of their season is anything like today's production of Next To Normal, your journey to Weston will be well worth it.