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by BWW News Desk
Playwright Brian Yorkey shines a spotlight on one suburban family coping with emotional crisis in the eagerly awaited South Bay debut of the contemporary musical, Next to Normal. Featuring an electrifying pop-rock score of more than 30 songs, Next to Normal is described as an intense, tender, and ultimately hopeful musical that aims straight for the heart.
Winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and three Tony Awards® including Best Musical Score, Next to Normal tells the story of a mother and her suburban family as they attempt to deal with her growing mental illness. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book and lyrics were written by Brian Yorkey, and San Jose Rep’s co-production with Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) thrives under the direction of ATC’s Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein.
With a musical score by Tom Kitt, an accomplished composer, arranger, and orchestrator whose resume features well-known rock band Green Day and the Broadway hit High Fidelity, the production evokes feeling with every note. Bringing the script and music to life will be an experienced cast with Broadway talents Joe Cassidy and Kendra Kassebaum. Kassebaum originated the role of Glinda in the first national tour of Wicked and will use her skill to bring the role of Diana to life on San Jose Rep’s stage. The New York Times called Next to Normal a “brave, breathtaking musical,” and Rolling Stone added, “It’ll pin you to your seat.”
“When I first saw Next to Normal on Broadway, I knew I was seeing something brand new and thrilling,” says director David Ira Goldstein. “The audience was spellbound by a musical that managed to be bracingly epic and achingly intimate at the same time. Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt tell a story with absolutely universal resonance and truth, and tell it in a wholly fresh way. Brian says ‘it’s a story about people very much like people we know’. Indeed it is. And I trust that in its honesty, beauty and energy it will both stimulate one’s intellect and reach straight to the heart.”
The production runs from January 10 to February 3, 2013 with Press Opening Night on Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the San Jose Rep Box Office at 101 Paseo de San Antonio or can be purchased online at www.SJRep.com or by calling408.367.7255.