“Next to Normal is one of the bravest musicals to hit the mainstream—a jolt of raw, contemporary pain, propelled by a rock ‘n’ roll pulse. It makes your heart swell.” The New York Times
Mental illness is something that we don’t like to think about. Unfortunately most of us know someone who suffers from it now, or has in the past.
There is an incredible and powerful show currently showing at Virginia Repertory Theater and it tackles many of the challenges encountered with mental illness. According to their website:
Next to Normal is the acclaimed, groundbreaking musical “that pushe[d] Broadway in new directions” (Rolling Stone). With a thrilling contemporary score, Next to Normal is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other. 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.
Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Next to Normal also won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score. 2009 Tony Award nominations include Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. It is showing through May 18, 2013 at Virginia Rep. (Click here for ticket information).
Bipolar disorder is a serious and often misunderstood condition. It has far-reaching implications for family members and friends. And when someone is lost to this dreaded disease, the grief process can be unbearable.
This show is only appropriate for ages 16+ because of the powerful subject matter and story. It is a show worth seeing – and it may open your eyes to the challenges faced by those with bipolar disorder – and the ones who love them. Learn more in the video below.
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