Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Next to Normal
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2019-05-22

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Book and Lyrics: Brian Yorkey; Music: Tom Kitt.

At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe Tickets: 847-242-6000 or WritersTheatre.org; $35-$80.Runs through: June 16

Writers Theatre in Glencoe scored an artistic coup by luring back director David Cromer to stage Next to Normal. This Pulitzer Prize and three-time Tony Award-winning 2009 musical is Cromer's first Chicago-area production since he won the 2018 Tony Award for directing The Band's Visit on Broadway.

And Cromer's powerful take on Next to Normal does not disappoint. Cromer has assembled a diverse cast who can all vocally and dramatically take on the emotional wallops of composer Tom Kitt and librettist Brian Yorkey's a nearly sung-through musical.

Next to Normal swirls around the suburban mother Diana Godman ( Keeley Vasquez ), who struggles with prescription drug regimens for her bi-polar diagnosis. Diana also manifests upsetting feelings around her eldest child, Gabe ( Liam Oh ), whom we gradually learn is not all that he seems.

Diana's architect husband, Dan ( David Schlumpf ), is extremely supportive, though also arguably overprotective and controlling. Meanwhile their high school-aged daughter, Natalie ( Kyrie Courter ), starts to rebel once she starts falling for her stoner classmate, Henry ( Alex Levy ).

Also in the mix are Diana's two doctors: the distant and calculating "psychopharmacologist" Dr. Fine and the more probing therapist Dr. Madden ( both doubled up incisively by Gabriel Ruiz ).

Under Cromer's astute direction, the whole cast delves into the anger and hurt of their characters without ever going overboard. Music director Andra Velis Simon also does great work in helping the cast to navigate this big sing of a show.

Cromer and set designer Regina Garcia ground everything more in reality rather than following the abstracted visual approach in previous Next to Normal productions. They do so by creating a collage-like unit set of stylish interiors and furniture that looks torn from the pages of Architectural Digest.

Yet the musical's often alarmingly trippy sequences come to life via Keith Parham's focused and colorful lighting design. And though some of the lyrics sound garbled or overpowered at times by the band ( always an issue with rock musicals ), the bulk of the score pulses through via the sound design of Chris LaPorte and Ray Nardelli ).

One decade on, Next to Normal feels timely as ever. And watching this great contemporary musical at Writers Theatre also feels very subversive.

The woes and wealthy income bracket of the fictional Goodman family onstage could easily mirror many a real-life family in the surrounding North Shore. So be prepared for some unsettling grief and trauma as Next to Normal allows you to peek behind one troubled family's well-kept facade.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

The Second City Salutes Pride 2019-06-22 - The Second City's Salute to Pride is waving a welcoming flag this June with an all LGBTQ identifying cast. Head upstairs to UP ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Extends Ms. Blakk for President 2019-06-21 - CHICAGO ( June 21, 2019 ) — Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has added seven more performances to the run of ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag to present The Drag Seed world premiere July 5 2019-06-20 - CHICAGO ( June 19, 2019 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions continues its 2019 season with the world premiere of THE DRAG ...


Gay News

Windy City Times and Reader Theater Series 2019 2019-06-18 - Click on the link for full schedule and registration form: https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/reader-windy-city-times-theater-series/Content?oid=71068613 . ...


Gay News

THEATER Elizabeth Rex 2019-06-18 - Playwright: Timothy Findley At: Oak Park Festival Theatre at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Phone: 847-; $15-$35. Runs through July 21 ...


Gay News

About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble to debut '20/20' 2019-06-18 - The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the world premiere of 20/20—a dive into recent queer history devised ...


Gay News

Terence Alan Smith: The real 'MS. BLAKK' 2019-06-18 - Terence Alan Smith, the Detroit native behind the drag persona Joan Jett Blakk, is still taken aback that a portion of his life ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Prophet$ 2019-06-18 - Playwright: Anthony Tournis At: Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard St. Tickets: TheFactoryTheater.com or 866-811-4111; $25. Runs through: July 22 Protestant Christianity's ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Emma 2019-06-18 - Author: novel by Jane Austen, stage adaptation by Phil Timberlake At: Lifeline Theatre Company, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. Tickets: lifelinetheatre.com or 773-761-4477; $20-$40. ...


Gay News

THEATER SPOTLIGHT Free Street Theater to do 50 plays in all 50 wards 2019-06-18 - On Sunday June 23, Free Street Theater will mark its 50th anniversary—very few Chicago theaters are older—by performing a play in every Chicago ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.