Theater: Next to Normal – Off-Broadway

Opened: February 13, 2008

Book & Lyrics by: Brian Yorkey

Music by: Tom Kitt

Original Off-Broadway Cast: Alice Ripley, Brian d’Arcy James, Jennifer Damiano, Adam Chanler-Berat, Asa Somers & Aaron Tveit

Next to Normal is a gut-punch of grief and sympathy with its groundbreaking storyline and riveting performances.

The Goodman family – Dan (Brian d’Arcy James), Diana (Alice Ripley), Gabe (Aaron Tveit) and Natalie (Jennifer Damiano) – are all dealing with a family tragedy in their own way. Dan worries for his wife and has her see Dr. Madden (Asa Somers) for help, while Natalie finds romance with Henry (Adam Chanler-Berat).

The three-tiered set creates a nice home while also alluding to levels of depression. Composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Brian Yorkey create a score unlike any other stage production – rock underscores the intensity of the family and their situation.

Ripley gives a career-defining performance as troubled mother Diana. Her ability to dive into those emotions night after night is a masterclass of acting.

Final say: Next to perfect. ★★★★★

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