A Rock Musical with Heart

Friday, January 16, 2015

This January, the Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal comes to The Lyric Theatre. Directed by Jared Walker, the rock musical follows the story of a suburban mother, Diane Goodman, as she comes to terms with her own bipolar disorder. As her family tries to take care of themselves and each other, they find humor and empathy within the turmoil of mental illness.

Originally inspired by an NBC News Dateline episode, creators Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt developed the musical over 10 years. Next to Normal premiered off-Broadway in 2008, where it won the Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Outstanding Score. The innovative rock music score, composed by Tom Kitt with music and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, also received praise from major critics, including the New York Times and Rolling Stone, who called the rock musical “the best musical of the season.”

After a brief stint playing at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Next to Normal arrived on Broadway in April of 2009. That year, the musical was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, eventually winning in the categories of Best Original Score, Best Orchestration, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress. Additionally, Next to Normal won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. The Pulitzer Board lauded the musical for “expand[ing] the scope of subject matter for musicals." Writer and lyricist Brian Yorkey’s previous theatre credits include Making Tracks, The Wedding Banquet, and the country musical Play it By Heart. Tom Kitt’s show credits as a musical director include American Idiot and Urban Cowboy.

At The Lyric Theatre this January, Karin Leone, most recently featured in The Lyric’s production of Guys & Dolls in Concert, will reprise her role as Diane Goodman as performed at The Lyric in 2013. Accompanying Leone are Anthony Nuccio, Kenn Rapczynski, Colleen Broome, Michael Hurst II, and Xander James.

Next to Normal comes to The Lyric Theatre on January 23rd at 7:00pm and January 24th at 4:00pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are available online atLyricTheatre.com or through The Lyric Box Office at (772) 286-7827.