Written by Daniella Litvak
Photographer ONE MORE PRODUCTIONS
Next to Normal is the gripping story of an American woman named Diana Goodman and her family’s struggle with her bipolar disorder. In rock n’ roll fashion we are treated to the various effects the disorder has on herself and the people around her. In both tone and message the show manages to fit in with other rock musicals/operas like The Who’s Tommy or Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Some of the larger differences between the shows have to do with the fact that Tommy and The Wall can give their audiences comfort in that the horrors visited upon their protagonists are so absurd, so surreal, they feel unlikely to happen in real life. What makes Next To Normal so dark is that the Goodman family feel like people who make up our normal, everyday lives–and the tragedies they experience could happen to anyone.
For what it’s worth, the show tries to end as optimistically as possible. However, one still leaves feeling emotionally exhausted. So if you are looking for a light-hearted romp or an escapist fantasy, this isn’t the show to see. On the other hand, don’t let the fear of angst make you miss out on a really good show. Continue Reading