original cast recording cover art
"Rock is alive and rolling like thunder in Next To Normal. It's the best musical of the season by a mile (take that Billy Elliot), an emotional powerhouse with a fire in its soul and a wicked wit that burns just as fiercely. Composer Tom Kitt and writer-lyricist Brian Yorkey have broken the shackles of tired Broadway tradition, pushing it in new directions. OK, sometimes push comes to shove. But the effect is never less than mesmerizing."
"Next to Normal does not, in other words, qualify as your standard feel-good musical. Instead this portrait of a manic-depressive mother and the people she loves and damages is something much more: a feel-everything musical, which asks you, with operatic force, to discover the liberation in knowing where it hurts."
-New York Times
Next to Normal is important for many reasons, the main one, we feel, is that it brings a somewhat taboo issue into a critical and objective light. It allows the audience to go on the emotional journey of mental illness and its treatment with the Goodman family without preaching a message; allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions. It's in this ambiguity that the beauty is found.
It brings awareness to an all-too-common issue and gives you the emotional and practical information required to find your own answers.
(It doesn't hurt that it has a kick ass soundtrack either!)