Wine Country Theatre presents the musical Next to Normal November 16 – December 2 at the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles. An emotional powerhouse of a musical, Next to Normal features a compelling Tony Award-winning pop-rock score that shatters through the façade of a suburban family dealing with the traumatic effects of mental illness.
Winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this intense, emotional, yet ultimately hopeful musical makes a direct grab for the heart with a story that takes us inside the lives of a typical American family that’s anything but typical. The New York Times said “NEXT TO NORMAL is a brave, breathtaking musical… It is something much more than a feel-good musical It is a feel-everything musical.”
This pop-rock musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey investigates the effects of mental illness and trauma on a family that’s desperately trying to keep it together. The driving music, comedy and typical family moments reveal a deeper understanding, and empathy for, those who have lived with mental illness.
Directed by Gregg Wolff, with Music Direction by Mark Robertshaw, the show features a cast of six outstanding local performers. Veronica Surber plays Diana Goodman, the mother, who has suffered from bipolar disorder. She tries desperately to balance sanity, happiness and her commitments to her family. Her disorder takes a turn for the worst and her long-suffering husband, played by Gary Borjon-Hernandez, can no longer pretend that all is well. Her daughter, played by Julia Seibert copes with her family life by being a perfectionist, and the son, played by Elliot Peters hangs on to his mother no matter what the cost. Ritchie Bermudez plays several doctors who treat Diana and Phineas Elliot plays the loveable, slacker boyfriend. Each character is integral to the story and fully developed.
“Next to Normal bravely and artistically explores the topic of bipolar disorder, and through this examination of a very human experience, the show is powerful, touching and emotional. It is highly entertaining and we are proud to be the first theatre in our area to present it”, states Cynthia Anthony, Executive Director. “No family is perfect, but every family can be unified by support and love. The writers, Kitt and Yorkey, once said that the challenge was to strike a balance between telling a truthful, emotional story but also creating a positive experience in the theater. And, as their Pulitzer Prize attests do, they have done just that.”
November 16 through December 2 at 7:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee every Sunday. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Groups of 8 or more are $20 each. Contains strong language and themes.
For more information and to purchase tickets for Wine Country Theatres’ production of Next to Normal visit winecountrytheatre.com.