Next to Normal, The SpeakEasy Stage’s latest production, explores a family that is anything but what its name implies. This rock musical centers around a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder, and how she and her family are impacted. This musical which opened on Broadway in 2009 and went on to receive 11 Tony nominations is making its Boston premiere at the Calderwood Pavilion on Tremont Street in the South End.
SpeakEasy Stage’s production is compelling. Kerry A. Dowling’s performance as Diana – the housewife struggling with bipolar disorder – is reason enough to see the show. However, Dowling is not forced to carry the show on her own, the entire cast comes together. In particular, I found myself extremely sympathetic to the high school daughter, Natalie, played by Sarah Drake who’s struggling to make sense of her life which lacks love and attention from her ill mother and her father too obsessed with “saving” his wife to notice her. More than once I could hear sniffles from the audience so I know I wasn’t the only one touched by this performance.
Next to Normal was extended and now runs through Sunday, April 15th. I dare you to step out of your “normal” routine and make date to check out this new show. Be sure to bring along some friends, because after the curtain drops you’ll want to talk about what you just saw. You can read more about the show and purchase tickets online here.