Next to Normal
|Next to Normal|
Original Broadway Cast Recording
2010 US Tour
2011 South Korea
2012 Buenos Aires
2012 St. Louis
2012 New York City
2013 Germany (Fürth)
2013 São Paulo
2013 South Korea
|Awards||Pulitzer Prize for Drama|
Next to Normal (styled as next to normal) is a rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Its story concerns a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. The musical also addresses such issues as grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life.
Next to Normal received several workshop performances before it debuted off-Broadway in 2008, winning the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Score and receiving nominations for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress (Alice Ripley) and Outstanding Score. After an Off-Broadway run, the show then played at the Arena Stage in its temporary venue in Washington, DC, from November 2008 to January 2009.
The musical opened on Broadway in April 2009. It was nominated for eleven 2009 Tony Awards and won three, Best Original Score, Best Orchestration and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Alice Ripley. It also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming just the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. The previous musical to win the Pulitzer was Rent, in 1996, which was also directed by Michael Greif. In awarding the prize to Kitt and Yorkey, the Pulitzer Board called the show "a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals."
The Broadway production closed on January 16, 2011 after 21 previews and 733 regular performances.
- Act I
Suburban mother Diana Goodman waits up late for her curfew-challenged son, Gabe, and comforts her anxious and overachieving daughter, Natalie. It is then morning and Dan, Diana's husband, rises to help prepare the family for the day ("Just Another Day"). When Diana's lunch-making takes a turn for the bizarre because sandwiches are on the floor, the rest realize something is not right. As Dan helps the disoriented Diana, their son and Natalie hurry off to school and, for Natalie, the refuge of the piano practice room ("Everything Else"). There she is interrupted by Henry, a classmate who likes to listen to her play and who is clearly interested in her.
Over the ensuing weeks Diana makes a series of visits to her doctor, while Dan waits in the car outside questioning how to cope with his own depression ("Who's Crazy" / "My Psychopharmacologist and I"). Diana has suffered from bipolar disorder coupled with hallucinations for sixteen years. Doctor Fine continually adjusts her medications until she says she doesn't feel anything, at which point he declares her stable. Natalie and Henry grow closer until one day he professes his love for her ("Perfect For You") and they kiss for the first time. Diana witnesses this and realizes her best years may be behind her, but she misses feeling her high highs and her low lows ("I Miss the Mountains"). With her son's encouragement, she flushes away her medication.
A few weeks later, Dan looks forward to dinner with his family ("It's Gonna Be Good"), but when Diana emerges with a cake singing "Happy Birthday" to her son, Dan and Natalie are devastated. Dan holds Diana and explains their son died sixteen years ago from an intestinal obstruction ("He's Not Here"). Dan mentions a return to the doctor, but Diana refuses, saying he can't possibly hurt the way she does ("You Don't Know"). Dan tries to coax her into trusting him when their son appears, convincing his mother to trust him rather than Dan ("I Am the One"). In her room, Natalie vents her anger to Henry and then refuses Diana's apology as her brother watches and taunts her ("Superboy and the Invisible Girl").
A few days later, Diana starts work with Doctor Madden. As her son tries to assert his presence ("I'm Alive"), Dan and Natalie doubt the sessions are helping. Doctor Madden proposes hypnosis to help Diana discover the roots of her trauma ("Make Up Your Mind" / "Catch Me I'm Falling"). Finally, Diana agrees it's time to let her son go. Diana goes home to clean out her son's things, pausing to listen to a music box ("I Dreamed a Dance"). Her son dances with her and then invites her to come away with him ("There's a World"). She does.
At the hospital, Diana lies sedated and restrained, with self-inflicted gashes to her wrists. Doctor Madden explains to Dan that ECT is the standard course of treatment for drug-resistant patients who are imminently suicidal. Dan goes home to clean up after Diana and decide what to do ("I've Been"). The next day, Diana lashes out at Doctor Madden, refusing the treatment ("Didn't I See This Movie?"). Dan arrives and convinces her it may be their last hope ("A Light In The Dark").
- Act II
Diana receives a series of ECT treatments over two weeks. Meanwhile, Natalie explores clubs and drugs ("Wish I Were Here"). Diana returns home from the hospital, but she has lost nineteen years of memory ("Song of Forgetting"). At school, Henry confronts Natalie about her avoiding him, and invites her to the spring formal dance ("Hey #1").
Dan and Diana visit Doctor Madden, who assures them some memory loss is normal ("Seconds and Years") and encourages Dan to use photos, mementoes, and the like to help Diana recover. Dan gathers the family to do so ("Better Than Before"), with minor success, but when Natalie pulls the music box from a pile of keepsakes, he whisks it away, leaving Diana puzzled. Her son appears, unseen ("Aftershocks"), while Diana tells Dan there's something she's desperate to remember that's just beyond her reach. When Henry arrives looking for Natalie, Diana is given great pause, studying his face and asking his age. He reminds her of someone. Unnerved, Henry hurries up to Natalie's bedroom, to convince her to join him at the dance the next night ("Hey #2").
Diana returns to Doctor Madden ("You Don't Know" [Reprise]) who suggests she further explore her history and talk more with her husband. Diana goes home and searches through the boxes of keepsakes, finding the music box, Dan tries to stop her, but the memories of her baby son rush back ("How Could I Ever Forget?"). When Diana confesses remembering her son as a teenager, and demands to know his name, Dan refuses and instead insists they need to return for more treatment ("It's Gonna Be Good" [Reprise]). Henry arrives to pick up Natalie, who has dressed for the dance, just in time for both of them to witness an agitated Dan grab the music box from Diana's hands and smash it to pieces on the floor.
Diana confronts Dan, wondering why he perseveres after how much trouble she's given, while upstairs, Natalie asks Henry much the same question ("Why Stay?"). Dan answers, echoed by Henry, both vowing to stay steadfast ("A Promise"). As both couples embrace, Diana and Dan's son reappears ("I'm Alive" [Reprise]) which sends Diana running to Doctor Madden.
Diana asks Doctor Madden what can be done if the medicine won't work. With her questioning comes the realization it is not her brain that's hurting, but her soul ("The Break"). Madden assures her relapse is common, and suggests more ECT ("Make Up Your Mind" / "Catch Me I'm Falling" [Reprise]). Diana refuses. Doctor Madden urges her to continue treatment for her chronic, deadly disease. She thanks him and leaves. Natalie, waiting outside, is distressed to learn her mother has stopped the treatment. Diana explains herself ("Maybe [Next to Normal]"), opening up to her daughter for the first time. She urges Natalie on to the school dance, where Henry awaits to comfort and embrace her ("Hey #3" / "Perfect for You" [Reprise]).
Diana tells Dan she is leaving him, explaining he can't always be there to catch her. She needs to take a risk and deal with things on her own ("So Anyway"). She goes and leaves their son with Dan. As Dan wonders how she could have left him after he stood by her for so long, their son approaches and tells Dan he's not going anywhere ("I Am the One" [Reprise]). Dan grows more distraught until at last he faces the boy and calls him by his name for the first time: Gabriel.
Natalie comes home to find her father sitting alone in the dark, in tears. She comforts him and turns on the lights in the room, before assuring him the two of them will figure things out ("Light"). Henry arrives to study. Natalie tells him Diana has gone to stay with her own parents. Diana is alone and still hurting, but hopeful. Dan visits Doctor Madden hoping to talk about Diana, but stays to talk about his own struggle. Gabe watches over them all, and life goes on.
Note: The song titles are not listed in the program
Workshops and readings (2002–2007)
The musical began in 1998 as a 10-minute workshop sketch about a woman undergoing electroshock therapy, and its impact on her family, called Feeling Electric. Yorkey brought the idea to Kitt while both were at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Kitt wrote a rock score for the short piece, which was highly critical of the medical treatment. Both Yorkey and Kitt turned to other projects, but they "kept returning to Feeling Electric", eventually expanding it to a full-length musical. This had a reading in 2002 at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington, then at several venues in New York City, including Cutting Room, featuring Norbert Leo Butz as Dan and Sherie Rene Scott as Diana with Benjamin Schrader as Gabe, Anya Singleton as Natalie, and Greg Naughton as Dr. Madden, with a subsequent staged reading in late 2002 at the Musical Mondays Theater Lab in New York.
In 2005 it was workshopped again at Village Theatre starring Amy Spanger as Diana, Jason Collins as Dan, Mary Faber as Natalie and Deven May as Dr. Madden. In September 2005, the musical ran at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, with Spanger as Diana, Joe Cassidy as Dan, Annaleigh Ashford as Natalie, Benjamin Schrader as Gabe, and Anthony Rapp as Dr. Madden, attracting the attention of producer David Stone. Second Stage Theatre workshopped the piece in both 2006 and 2007, featuring Cassidy and then Greg Edelman as Dan, Alice Ripley as Diana, Mary Faber and then Phoebe Strole as Natalie, Rapp as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine and Skylar Astin as Henry. Meanwhile, at the urging of Stone and director Michael Greif, who had joined the team, the creators focused the show on the family's pain rather than on the critique of the medical establishment.
Off-Broadway and Arena Stage (2008)
Next to Normal was produced off-Broadway under its current name at Second Stage Theatre from January 16 through March 16, 2008, directed by Greif, with Anthony Rapp as assistant director and musical staging by Sergio Trujillo. The cast featured Ripley as Diana, Brian d'Arcy James as Dan, Aaron Tveit as Gabe, Jennifer Damiano as Natalie, Adam Chanler-Berat as Henry, and Asa Somers as the Doctors. The understudies were Jessica Phillips, Kevin Kern, Corey Boardman, and Morgan Weed. The surname of the family was changed from Brown to Goodman. Although the show received mixed reviews, at least one reviewer criticized it for pushing an irresponsible message about the treatment of bipolar disorder and for failing to strike the proper balance between pathos and comedy. The critics found the show internally confused, and the team decided to make major changes in both the book and score, including eliminating the original title song, "Feeling Electric". They concentrated the story entirely on the emotions of Diana and her family as they confront bitter truths.
The rewritten musical was then given a regional theatre production at the Arena Stage in its temporary theatre in Crystal City, Virginia, from November 21, 2008 through January 18, 2009. Greif returned as director. Ripley and most of the off-Broadway cast participated, but d'Arcy James remained in New York to play the title character in Shrek the Musical, being replaced by J. Robert Spencer. Louis Hobson played Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine. Mary Mossberg replaced Jessica Phillips, Michael Berry replaced Kevin Kern, Tim Young replaced Corey Boardman, and Meghann Fahy replaced Morgan Weed. The critics noticed that "comic songs and glitzy production numbers" had been replaced by songs that are complementary to the emotional content of the book; the production received rave reviews.
Next to Normal began previews on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on March 27, opening on April 15, 2009. The cast from the Arena Stage production returned as well as the director, Greif. The musical was originally booked for the 1,096-seat Longacre Theatre, but, according to producer David Stone, "When the Booth Theatre became available... we knew it was the right space for Next to Normal".
Reviews were favorable. Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote that the Broadway production is "A brave, breathtaking musical. It is something much more than a feel-good musical: it is a feel-everything musical." Rolling Stone Magazine called it "The best new musical of the season – by a mile." Next to Normal was on the Ten Best of the Year list for 2009 of "Curtain Up".
Next to Normal set a new box office record at the Booth Theatre for the week ending January 3, 2010, grossing $550,409 over nine performances. The previous record was held by the 2006 production of Brian Friel's Faith Healer, with a gross of $530,702. One year later, Next to Normal broke that record again during its final week on Broadway (week ending January 16, 2011) grossing $552,563 over eight performances. The producers recouped their initial investment of $4 million a few days after the production's one year anniversary on Broadway. At the end of its run, Next to Normal grossed $31,764,486, the most out of all the shows that have run at the Booth Theatre, earning double the amount of money as its closest competition, I'm Not Rappaport.
Kyle Dean Massey played Gabe for part of 2009 joining the cast regularly in January 2010, and Brian d'Arcy James, who originated the role of Dan in the Off-Broadway production, joined the Broadway cast in May 2010 for a limited engagement. Married couple Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley took over the roles of Diana and Dan Goodman on July 19, 2010. John Kenrick wrote in November 2010 that the show "is glowing with breathtaking brilliance as it ends its Broadway run."
- Twitter (2009)
In May 2009, about six weeks into the Broadway Production, Next to Normal began publishing an adapted version of the show over Twitter, a social media network. Over 35 days, the serialized version of the show was published in the form of tweets, short messages utilized by Twitter, a single line from a character at a time. The Twitter performance ended the morning of June 7, 2009, the morning of the 2009 Tony Awards. The initiative earned the musical the 2009 OMMA Award for Best in Show Situation Interactive.
US Tour (2010-2011)
Next to Normal began a U.S. tour at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, California, from November 23, 2010 through January 2, 2011. The tour played in 16 cities in the U.S., and ended in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 30, 2011. Alice Ripley reprised her role as Diana, Asa Somers as Dan, Emma Hunton as Natalie, Curt Hansen as Gabe, Preston K. Sadleir as Henry and Jeremy Kushnier as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine. The cast also featured Caitlyn Kinunnen (u/s Natalie), Perry Sherman (u/s Gabe/Henry), Jason Watson (standby for Dan, u/s Dr.Madden/Dr. Fine) and Pearl Sun (standby for Diana ).
On September 26, 2012, Philadelphia's The Arden Theater Company opened a production of "Next to Normal" directed by Terrence J. Nolan and starring James Barry (Dan), Rachel Camp (Natalie), Michael Doherty (Henry) and Kristine Fraelich (Diana).
Atlanta/Rochester New York (2012-2013)
On October 17, 2012, a production of "Next to Normal" directed Scott Schwartz and starring Jordan Craig (Henry), Bob Gaynor (Dan), Catherine Porter (Diana), Lyndsay Ricketson (Natalie), Cary Tedder (Gabe) and Googie Uterhardt (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden) began performances. This production ran through November 11, 2012 at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre and resumed performances on January 8, 2013 at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY where it ran through February 10.
San Francisco Bay Area/Pinole (2013)
On February 1, 2013, the East Bay Area regional premiere production of "Next to Normal" directed by Brian Katz and starring Michael Scott Wells (Henry), Alex Bonte (Dan), Lisa-Marie Newton (Diana), Nicolina Akraboff (Natalie), Brian Dauglash (Gabe) and Perry Aliado (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden) opened. The production features Musical Direction by Dean Starnes and Set Design by Fernando Ochoa. This production will run through February 17, 2013 at the Pinole Community Playhouse.
Naples Florida (2013)
On March 7 the South West Florida premiere of Next To Normal will open at TheatreZone in Naples, Florida. The production directed by Mark Danni will star Karen Molnar (Diana), Larry Alexander (Dan), David Michael Bevis (Gabe), Vera Samuels (Natalie), Natale Pirrotta (Henry) and Gerritt VanderMeer (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden). The production will run through March 17, 2013. www.theatrezone-florida.com
Stuart Florida (2013)
Curtain Call Productions presented Next to Normal at the historic Lyric Theatre in Stuart, on April 12, 13 & 14, 2013. Cast: Karin Leone (Diana), Robert Dawson (Dan), Anthony Nuccio (Gabe), Colleen Broome (Natalie), Xander James (Henry), Michael Hurst II (Doctor Fine/Dr. Madden). Production Team: Jake Sanders (Producer), Jared Walker (Director), Evan Ferrar (Musical Director), Marc Clark (Lighting/Scenic Design). LyricTheatre.com
- Rochester Hills Michigan (2013)
- Meadow Brook Theatre presented the Michigan Premiere of Next to Normal February 13-March 10, 2013. Cast: Stephanie Wahl (Diana), George Andrew Wolff (Dan), Real life brother and sister duo Ryan and Jessica Naimy ( Gabe & Natalie), Jason Cabral (Henry), Eric Gutman (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden). Production Team: Travis W. Walter (Director), Michael Rice (Music Director) Terry Carpenter (Stage Manager) Jeremy Barnett (Set Designer) Reid G. Johnson (lighting) and Liz Moore (Costumes)
Winter Haven Florida (2013)
Theatre Winter Haven presented Next to Normal as a Stageread production on March 12 and 13. Cast: Drew Arnold (Diana), Kent Michael Altman (Gabe), Thom Mesrobian (Dan), Anneliese Moon (Natalie), Wesley Slade (Henry), Victor Souffrant (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden). Production Team: Tim Williams (Director), Virginia Zechiel (Musical Director), Kandice Stephens (Stage Manager), Cori Blythe (Assistant Stage Manager), Jason Fortin (Sound)
Dayton Ohio (2013)
The Human Race Theatre Company presented Next to Normal at the Victoria Theatre from May 7–19. Cast: Trisha Rapier (Diana), Eric Michael Krop (Gabe), Jamie Cordes (Dan), Emily Price (Natalie), Jon Hacker (Henry), J.J. Tiemeyer (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden). Production Team: Scott Stoney (Director), Jay Brunner (Musical Director), Kay Carver (Stage Manager), John Rensel (Lighting Designer), Brian Retterer (Sound Designer), Lowell Mathwich (Costume Designer) 
The European premiere and the first non-English language production opened September 3, 2010 at Det Norske Teatret in Norway, with Heidi Gjermundsen Broch as Diana, Frank Kjosås as Gabe, Charlotte Frogner as Natalie, Jon Bleiklie Devik as Dan, Thomas Bye as Henry, and Lasse Kolsrud as the Doctors. It opened to rave reviews, which made the theatre announce a second season starting October 8, 2011. Press release tells the original Norwegian cast will be performing the second season as well.
A Finnish production opened December 2, 2010 in Helsinki, Finland at Studio Pasila. The last performance was December 8, 2011. The cast included Jonna Järnefelt as Diana, Juha Junttu as Dan, Vuokko Hovatta as Natalie, Petrus Kähkönen as Henry, Tuukka Leppänen as Gabe and Antti Timonen as Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine. A Danish production ran from February 2012 until April 2012 at Nørrebro Teater in Copenhagen. Cast was Cecilie Stenspil, Troels Lyby, Laus Høybye, Tom Jensen, Kenneth Müller Christensen and Kristine Marie Brendstrup. A Swedish production ran from February until April 2012 at Wermland opera in Karlstad, Sweden. The cast was Cecilie Nerfont Thorgersen as Diana, Ole Aleksander Bolstad Bang as Gabe, Christer Nerfont as Dan, Tove Edfeldt as Natalie, Jonas Schlyter as Henry, and Melker Sörensen as the Doctors.
Two more Finnish productions are scheduled; one to play at the Wasa Teater in Vaasa from September 21 to December 31, 2012  and one at Tampere Workers' Theatre, beginning on October 9, 2012 and ending on February 23, 2013.
The Swedish premiere was staged by Stockholm's Stadsteater at Stockholm Stadsteater's Stora scenen in November 2012. With direction by renowned movie director Lisa Ohlin and translation to Swedish by Calle Norlén, the production was well received by the critics.
The Asian premiere was staged by Atlantis Productions Inc. at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati, Philippines in March 2011 (repeated in October 2011). The cast included Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Diana, Jett Pangan as Dan, Felix Rivera as Gabe, Bea Garcia as Natalie, Markki Stroem as Henry, and Jake Macapagal as the Doctors.
The South Korean premiere of the musical was staged from November 2011 to February 2012 at the Doosan Arts Center in Seoul, South Korea. The cast included Kolleen Park and Ji-Hyun Kim as Diana, Kyung-Joo Nam and Jung-Yeol Lee as Dan, Ji-Sang Han and Jae-Rim Choi as Gabe, and So-yeon Oh as Natalie. Directed by Laura Pietropinto, former assistant director of the Broadway production, the production was produced by MusicalHeaven, a company renowned for staging the Korean premiere of Spring Awakening . A revival of the musical, which will include most of the cast from the premiere, is scheduled to run from April 5, 2013 to May 6, 2013.
The Australian premiere of the musical played at the Melbourne Theatre Company in Melbourne, Australia. Performances were originally from April 28 running through May 28, 2011, and then extended to June 4. The cast included Gareth Keegan as Gabe, Kate Kendall as Diana, Matt Hetherington as Dan, Benjamin Hoetjes as Henry, Christy Sullivan as Natalie, and Bert LaBonté as the Doctors.
A Sydney production was scheduled to open on 16 September 2012 at The Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia, but was cancelled in June.
A Brisbane production is scheduled to open on 18 April 2013 at The Cremorne Theatre at QPAC, Brisbane, Australia. The cast includes Alice Barbery as Diana, Chris Kellett as Dan, Matthew Crowley as Gabe, Siobhan Kranz as Natalie, Tom Oliver as Henry and James Gauci as the Doctors. The musical is being staged by Oscar Theatre Company and is directed by Emily Gilhome, with musical direction by David Law. The show had previews on 18 April 2013 and opened on the 19th.
The Peruvian premiere of the musical was played at the Teatro Marsano, in Lima, Peru, in Spanish. The production ran from May to June 2011. The cast included Patricia de al Puente as Diana, Paul Martin as Dan, replaced later by Jean Paul Strauss, Gisela Ponce de León as Natalie, Andrés Salas as Henry, Raul Suazo as Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine and Renato Bonifaz as Gabriel.
The Argentinian adaptation, "Casi Normales", played more than 250 performances in Buenos Aires, starting January 3, 2012 at "El Liceo" Theater and until November 25, 2012 at "El Nacional" Theater located at the main theater district, Avenue Corrientes. The musical was recognized by the most prestigiuos jury in Argentine Musical Theater, including: The Best of the Season, Best Musical, Best Musical Direction, Best General Direction, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Actors Direction and Best Sound Design. The cast included Laura Conforte (Diana), Alejandro Paker (Dan), Florencia Otero (Natalie), Matías Mayer (Gabe), Fernando Dente (Henry) and Mariano Chiesa (Dr. Fine/ Dr. Madden). During the season at "El Nacional" the role of Diana was performed by Alejandra Perlusky; and Manuela Del Campo performed as Natalie. Both Alejandra and Manuela were part of the original cast, playing two performances a week in previous seasons.
A Brazilian production opened July 12, 2012 in the Clara Nunes Theatre in Rio de Janeiro, and It's titled "Quase Normal" (Translation: Almost Normal). The cast includes Vanessa Gerbelli as Diana, Cristiano Gualda as Dan, Olavo Cavalheiro as Gabe, Carol Futuro as Natalie, André Dias as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine, and Victor Maia as Henry. The producer/director, Tadeu Aguiar translated both the text and lyrics. In February 16, 2013 the same production opened in the FAAP Theater in São Paulo.
A Panamanian production, "Casi Normales," opened April 2–28, 2013 in Panama City at the Teatro En Circulo. The cast featured: Paulette Thomas, Arturo Montenegro, Randy Domínguez, Aurelio Tamayo, Meli Moreno and Giovanni Scollo.
Another Canadian production was produced by The Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, MB from April to May 2012. The production starred Jennifer Lyon as Diana and Steffi DiDomenicantonio as Natalie.
A French version was produced in Montreal in May 2012 at "Le theatre du rideau vert", direct by Denise Filiatrault. The cast included Jean Maheux, Genevieve Charest, Veronique Claveau, Benoit McGinnis, Renaud Paradis and Isabeau Proulx-Lemire. The French translation was made by Yves Morin. The musical director was Pierre Benoit. The show end on June 16, 2012 and was well acclaimed.
In June 2012 an intimate, unmiked version of the show opened at The Tarragon Extra Space in Toronto, produced by Clearwater Theatre. It was directed by Kate Stevenson with Kathryn Akin as Diana, Jay Davis as Dan, Sara Farb as Natalie, James Daly as Gabe, Adrian Marchuk as Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden and Andre Morin as Henry. The production ran from June 7–17.
Starting September 11, 2012, a production debuted at Theatre Calgary in Calgary, AB starring Kathryn Akin as Diana, Rejean Cournoyer as Dan, Michael Cox as Henry, Sara Farb as Natalie, Robert Markus as Gabe, and John Ullyatt as Doctor Madden. The Director was Ron Jenkins. The production ran until September 30, 2012. Beginning October 20, 2012 the production continued at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, AB, running until November 11, 2012.
The Dutch premiere was on January 16, 2012 at DeLaMar Theater in Amsterdam. The cast was Simone Kleinsma (Diana), Wim van den Driessche (Dan), Michelle van de Ven (Natalie), Freek Bartels (Gabe), Jonathan Demoor (Henry) and René van Kooten (Dr. Fine/ Dr. Madden).
The German version by Titus Hoffmann will premiere on the 11th of October 2013 at the Stadttheater Fürth (Bavaria). The production will be directed by Titus Hoffmann, the musical director will be Christoph Wohlleben, Melissa King will choreograph and the set-desiger will be Stephan Prattes. Highly anticipated auditions took place in Berlin in autumn 2012. Over 1000 actors & actresses applied. So far Pia Douwes has been announced to star in the role of "Diana", Thomas Borchert in the role of "Dan", Dirk Johnston will portrait "Gabe", Sabrina Weckerlin to play the part of "Natalie" and Dominik Hees the part of "Henry".
The principal casts of the major productions of the musical are as follows.
|Role||Original Off-Broadway Cast||Original Broadway Cast||Final Broadway Cast||Original US Tour Cast|
|Diana Goodman||Alice Ripley||Marin Mazzie||Alice Ripley|
|Dan Goodman||Brian d'Arcy James||J. Robert Spencer||Jason Danieley||Asa Somers|
|Natalie Goodman||Jennifer Damiano||Meghann Fahy||Emma Hunton|
|Gabriel "Gabe" Goodman||Aaron Tveit||Kyle Dean Massey||Curt Hansen|
|Henry||Adam Chanler-Berat||Preston K. Sadleir|
|Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden||Asa Somers||Louis Hobson||Jeremy Kushnier|
- Notable Broadway Replacements
- Brian d'Arcy James played Dan in a limited run from May 17, 2010, to July 18, 2010.
- Meghann Fahy was originally cast as the standby for Natalie. She took over the role full-time after Jennifer Damiano's July 18, 2010 departure to prepare for "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark".
- Kyle Dean Massey was called to play Gabe from June 9 through September 6, 2009 while Aaron Tveit performed in Catch Me if You Can at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, WA. He remained an unofficial standby due to Tveit's Gossip Girl filming schedule, taking on the role full-time after Tveit's January 3, 2010 departure from the production.
Literary references and allusions
- During Act I, Gabe reads a paperback copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Kyle Dean Massey said, "I read about a page a night." Salinger's novel about grieving a loss is read by the character who is the loss. In Catcher, Holden struggles with the loss of a brother, Allie, who died of leukemia.
- When sorting through a box of items from her son's room, Diana picks up a music box from the box to reveal a copy of Goodnight Moon underneath.
- Natalie carries a hardcover copy of Flowers for Algernon, which she is studying in school. Both the novel and "Next to Normal" deal with psychological experimentation.
- Diana alludes to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sylvia Plath, and Frances Farmer in the song "Didn't I See This Movie?".
- Diana also reads from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a play by Edward Albee which deals with marital stress caused by similar issues of "Next to Normal". On her YouTube site, Alice Ripley said that she uses Albee's play as a bible, drawing inspiration for Diana.
Pulitzer Prize Controversy
Next to Normal won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama even though it had not been on the list of three candidates submitted to the twenty-member Pulitzer Prize board by the five-member Drama jury. Disgraced jury chairman and critic Charles McNulty, infamous for his preference for affected works, publicly criticized the Board for overlooking the three plays not running on Broadway at the time of the Award in favor of one that was.
Awards and nominations
Original Off-Broadway production
|2008||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Alice Ripley||Nominated|
|Outstanding Music||Tom Kitt||Nominated|
Original Broadway production
|2009||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Book of a Musical||Brian Yorkey||Nominated|
|Best Original Score||Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||J. Robert Spencer||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical||Alice Ripley||Won|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical||Jennifer Damiano||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Michael Greif||Nominated|
|Best Orchestrations||Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt||Won|
|Best Scenic Design||Mark Wenland||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design||Kevin Adams||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design||Brian Ronan||Nominated|
|2010||Pulitzer Prize for Drama||Won|
- Hetrick, Adam. "Next to Normal Wins 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama". Playbill.com, April 12, 2010
- " 'Next to Normal' Synopsis" mtishows.com, accessed April 28, 2011
- Getlin, Josh. "The Ballad of Kitt &Yorkey", Columbia Magazine, Columbia University, Fall 2010, pp. 22–23
- Jones, Kenneth. "Feeling Electric, Butz and Larsen Sing Electro-Shock Therapy Musical Oct. 7" playbill.com, October 4, 2002
- Jones, Kenneth. "Musical Workshop of Feeling Electric, About a Frazzled Family, Stars a Bat Boy and a Lois Lane in Seattle", Playbill.com, June 21, 2005
- Jones, Kenneth. "Rapp & Spanger Help Spark Premiere of Feeling Electric Sept. 14-24 in NYMF", playbill.com, September 14, 2005
- Hernandez, Ernio. "New Musical Next to Normal Closes Off-Broadway March 16", playbill.com, March 16, 2008
- Dziemianowicz, Joe. "The high & low notes of a bipolar mom in next to normal", New York Daily News, February 14, 2008
- Brantley, Ben. "There, Amid the Music, a Mind Is on the Edge", The New York Times, February 14, 2008
- Caggiano, Chris. "Next to Normal: Shaky Show, Irresponsible Message", Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals site, February 24, 2008
- Gans, Andrew. "Chanler-Berat, Damiano, Hobson, Tveit Will Join Ripley and Spencer in Arena's Next to Normal", Playbill.com, October 10, 2008
- Marks, Peter. "Revised Musical Hits Home: Moving, Beautiful next to normal", Washington Post, December 12, 2008
- Blanchard, Jayne. "Next to Terrific at Arena", Washington Times, December 15, 2008
- Gans, Andrew. "Next to Normal, with Entire Arena Cast, to Play Broadway's Longacre", playbill.com, February 17, 2009
- Gans, Andrew. "next to normal Will Now Play the Booth Theatre", playbill.com, February 24, 2009
- Brantley, Ben. "Fragmented Psyches, Uncomfortable Emotions: Sing Out!", The New York Times, April 16, 2009
- "The Travers Take: next to normal Proves that Rock is Thriving on Broadway", rollingstone.com, April 16, 2009
- Sommer, Elyse and Saltzman, Simon. "The Best (and Worst) of the Year 2009 On and Off Broadway" curtainup.com, retrieved January 9, 2010
- "Next to Normal Breaks Box Office Record at the Booth Theatre", BroadwayWorld, 2010
- "Next to Normal Breaks Box Office Record at the Booth Theatre", BroadwayWorld, 2011
- Healy, Patrick. "Broadway’s Unlikely Hit Gives Hope to the Bold" New York Times, March 28, 2010
- "Brian d'Arcy James Will Rejoin Normal Cast in May" playbill.com
- Healy, Patrick. "New Casting Announced for Next to Normal. The New York Times, June 3, 2010
- Kenrick, John. Next to Normal. Musicals101.com, November 2010, accessed January 20, 2011
- "Next to Normal to Close on Broadway January 16, 2011". BroadwayWorld, November 10, 2010
- "Next to Normal to Close on Broadway Jan 16, 2011", Playbill
- "It’s Broadway Gone Viral, With a Musical Meted Out via Twitter", The New York Times, August 16, 2009
-  mediapost.com
- Hetrick, Adam. "Somers, Hunton, Hansen, Sadleir and Kushnier to Join Ripley for Next to Normal Tour". Playbill.com, October 20, 2010
- Fullerton, Krissie. "Photo Call:A First Look at the 'Next to Normal' National Tour with Alice Ripley, Emma Hunton and More". playbill.com, 29 Nov 2010
- "Next to Normal". Retrieved 2012-08-27.
- ". Det Norske Teatret
- ". Verdens Gang 5 Sept 2010
- ". Aftenposten, 4 Sept 2010
-  hkt.fi
-  Philippines Broadway World
- "Listing, 'Next to Normal'" Melbourne Theatre Company, retrieved December 4, 2010
- "Cancelled: Sydney’s debut production of Next To Normal has been pulled'" AussieTheatre, retrieved July 2, 2012
- Obra musical de Broadway, "Casi normal" se estrena por primera vez en Lima traducida al español
-  Estamos Aqui Produções - Quase Normal http://estamosaquiproducoes.com.br/quasenormal.html
-  Los Angeles Times[dead link]
- Hetrick, Adam."Pulitzer Drama Juror David Rooney Weighs In On Next to Normal Win" playbill.com, April 13, 2010
- Simonson, Robert."Playbill.com's Theatre Week In Review, April 10-April 16: The Pulitzer Paradox" playbill.com, April 16, 2010
- Official Website
- Next to Normal at the Internet Broadway Database
- Twitter Performance Transcript
- Lortel Archives listing
- Interview with Brian Yorkey on MyNortwest.com
- NY Times Feature: An Out-of-Town Overhaul Helps Next to Normal Find Focus
- NY Times Feature: On Broadway, 'Next to Normal' Aims for Truth About Mental Illness
- Daily News Broadway review 2009
- Entertainment Weekly Broadway review 2009
- Associated Press Broadway review 2009
- Washington Post Broadway Review 2009
- NY Times off-Broadway review, February 2008
- TheatreMania review, February 2008
- German Website
- Argentina Website