My parents went to see it before I did, and returned with very positive and glowing reviews. I was able to go see the show last week - the night after we got home from Seattle actually. Kind of crazy to go that night but it was the only night I could and I didn't want to miss it. Oh my. I don't even know what to say about the show except that I was absolutely spell bound the whole time. I love the music - it's kind of a rock-musical, and it's very powerful. And everyone I know who got to see it saw some part of their own life story played out on that stage in some way. Including myself. It was very emotional. In fact, my friend Carrie got so upset during one part that she fell apart, so much so that the stranger next to her wrapped her arms around Carrie to comfort her. During the intermission, a time during which I normally like to stretch my legs, go for a walk, people watch or grab a little treat, I didn't have any desire at all to leave the auditorium. There was a powerful feeling in there and I just had to stay and see the show through before I could move on.
After the show I was very lucky because my sister introduced me to the two leads. Judy McLane played Diane, the mother of this family, and Jonathan Rayson played Dan, her husband. We ended up chatting for quite a while and talking a lot about the show. Well, mostly - Judy McLane, who is on hiatus from Broadway in her role as Tanya in Mamma Mia, has some very tired vocal chords so she was miming, signing and writing notes on paper. We had a neat conversation and I asked the actors if it was common to have a therapy session with the public every night after the show. Funny. It was a delightful chance to talk and meet with the stars. I'm always so starstruck and feel very silly, but I don't think I made too big a fool of myself. As far as you know.
So now I'm having a problem. There is something about Next to Normal that I just can't quite get over. The music plays in my head, I sing it even when I'm not listening to it, I have the desire to pop in the CD all the time. And frankly, I kind of need a break. I can't quite tell if there is something about the plot or music that I need to work through and deal with, or if it's just really catchy music that has implanted itself in my head. Has this ever happened to you? You totally love something and let it in your life and then it slowly starts to take over? I'm not sure it's such a good thing. So I'm listening to a lot of other Broadway tunes at the moment and also trying to search my soul a little to figure out what has got me so obsessed. Well, maybe it was just a great show. I do wish I could edit out the language because that is definitely not something I need reverberating about my brain - I've gotten good at quickly turning down the volume as necessary. Anyway, I kind of recommend it a lot, and I kind of don't. I loved it. I'm inviting it to move on now.
As a happy epilogue, my sister was invited to return for PTC's next musical, Annie. I think that will be slightly more light-hearted and perhaps Bitty and I can go on a date to see it around Christmastime.