A pill-popping pop rock musical caps off the summer season

NTNposter2(Fredericton, NB) – The summer theatre experience in Fredericton just got a heck of a lot more intense. Not your average bubbly feel-good musical, Pulitzer-Prize winning Next to Normal is the compelling story of a slightly dysfunctional family whose mother battles with bipolar disorder along with severe depression. It is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other. The family can only sit back and watch as their mother tries to piece together her life and return her house and family back to normal.

With provocative lyrics by Brian Yorkey and a thrilling score by Tom Kitt, you will see just how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact.

Originally a ten minute workshop piece presented in 1998, the show had its first reading as a full length musical in 2002. That initial reading was followed by several others in New York City before Next to Normal finally became a fully staged production in early 2008 when it was produced Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre. Later that year, a rewritten Next to Normal was produced at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. The musical finally arrived on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on March 27, 2009.

Next to Normal ran for the next two years, garnering a number of award nominations and taking home the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as three Tony Awards include one for Best Actress in a Musical, Alice Ripley. When the show closed in 2011, it had run for over 750 performances.

The cast of Blind Faith Productions’ Next to Normal includes Tania Breen as Diana, Sarah Bell as Natalie, Shawn Henry as Dan, Jeremy Dutcher as Gabe, Denis Theriault as Henry, and Max LeBlanc as Dr. Madden.

Director Shawn Henry notes that “there is definitely something strange about encouraging audiences to see an amazing musical about mental disorder, because it isn’t something that is openly spoken about very often, and it hits home for more people than you would think. Even if none of your family members struggle through dealing with a mental disorder of some sort, this show speaks deeply to the ways in which families seek to survive.”

Continues Henry, “Love, loss, hurt, healing, sibling rivalry, mother/daughter/father/son relationships, school stress, teenage crushes, peer pressure, and temptation are themes that any type of family can relate to.”

“A work of muscular grace and  power. It is much more than a feel-good musical; it is a feel-everything musical.” – The  New York Times

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1, with a special preview performance on Wednesday, August 28. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

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For all media inquiries, please contact:

Jill Scaplen, Director of Marketing & Communications
Blind Faith Productions
jill@blindfaithproductions.ca | 506.447.1047

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