Next to Normal
When I watched the Tony Awards a few months back, one musical caught my attention. One musical made me look up its current end date and if I would be able to get to Broadway before it closed. One musical will lure me to NYC in September.
I got the soundtrack and have listened to it at least twenty times through. I know most of the words to the entire score and have dissected its meanings and its musical variations. I haven’t had this feeling about a show since I first heard the soundtrack to Company.
The story revolves around a family that is falling apart as the mother struggles with bipolar disorder and the family copes with her illness. Many of the songs are quite depressing, but the story and music make you think about the disease and its repercussions. It looks at the mental health industry and does not batter one eye lash. It’s a phenomenal look at what it does feel like to be lost in your head and to watch those around you struggle with whatever it is you’re struggling with.
I related to many moments of the story. Luckily, I never went through the severe treatments that the mother has to survive, but I did understand going to the psychopharmacologist and the utter helplessness of the situation.
It’s a brilliant example of what musical theater can be at its core. Many of the great musicals revolve around social issues of the day and very controversial scenarios. I will be seeing the show in September some time and cannot wait.