They’re a “normal” family. Dad’s an architect. Mom packs lunches each morning for two moody high schoolers. Each day feels so long but somehow the years have flown by.
That’s the premise of “Next to Normal,” the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical making its West Chester debut courtesy of The Resident Theatre Company, the professional theatre group that received four Barrymore nominations for “Monty Python’s Spamalot” last season.
But there’s more to this suburban family than polyester and pumpkin spice lattes. This is a family with a BIG secret hiding in plain sight until it explodes on stage, sending this “every-family” musical into a raging rock fury that occasionally stops to collect itself during arias of quiet tenderness.
“It completely changed the sound of Broadway when Next to Normal came out in 2009. There would be no Dear Evan Hansen without this show. It was the beginning of a new, compelling style of theatre,” said Kristin McLaughlin Mitchell, the Broadway veteran who produced and directed “Next to Normal.”
It’s an emotionally rigorous show, for sure. But “Next to Normal’s” surging score is relentlessly upbeat and, at times, poetic. It’s fitting that memory becomes a central concern of this musical as many of the melodies bounce around your head for days after.
And in keeping with the Resident Theatre Company’s mission to take the hassle out of seeing Broadway-quality musical theater, each performer is a bonafide New York City stage actor with credits like “Cabaret,” “Memphis,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Don’t miss your chance to find out the secret of “Next to Normal.” Tickets are on sale now. The musical opens Sept. 29 at the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center and closes Oct. 15.