NEXT TO NORMAL
COMPOSER: Tom Kitt
LYRICIST: Brian Yorkey
BOOK: Brian Yorkey
DIRECTOR: Michael Greif
CHOREOGRAPHER: Sergio Trujillo
PRINCIPLE CAST: Alice Ripley (Diana), J. Robert Spencer (Dan), Aaron Tveit (Gabe)
OPENING DATE: Apr 15, 2009
CLOSING DATE: Jan 16, 2011
SYNOPSIS: Diana, a suburban wife and mother, is so devoted to her teenage son Gabe that she has neglected her other family members. What makes matters even more complicated is that Gabe died when he was two years old. As Diana slips further and further away from reality her family must try to save her.
Lyricist and book writer Brian Yorkey discusses his collaboration with composer Tom Kitt and director Michael Greif and the challenges in musicalizing a mental health crises in Next to Normal. Yorkey reflects on the delicate balancing act between presenting heavy subject matter and introducing levity to a narrative through humor without belittling mental illness. The development process of the musical helped the creative team realize the themes they were most invested in exploring. Controversial subject matter studied through a rock musical earned the surprise attention from the Pulitzer Prize committee and expanded the potential thematic focus of future Broadway musicals.
Brian Yorkey received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score, for Next to Normal. He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical for Next to Normal, and his work on the show earned him the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Score. He’s a graduate of Columbia University, an alum of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the WGA.
Next to Normal, Original Cast Recording, Ghostlight Records (2009)
Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, published by Theatre Communications Group (2010)
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