Next to Normal

Next to Normal
Next to Normal
Next to Normal.jpg
Original Broadway Cast Recording
Music Tom Kitt
Lyrics Brian Yorkey
Book Brian Yorkey
Productions 2008 Off-Broadway
2008 Virginia
2009 Broadway
2010 Norway
2010 US Tour
2010 Helsinki
2011 Manila
2011 South Korea
2011 Peru
2011 The Netherlands

Tony Award for Best Score Tony Award for Best Orchestrations

Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Next to Normal (styled as next to normal) is a rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Its story concerns a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. The musical also addresses such issues as grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life.

Next to Normal received several workshop performances before it debuted off-Broadway in 2008, winning the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Score and receiving nominations for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress (Alice Ripley) and Outstanding Score. After an Off-Broadway run, the show then played at the Arena Stage in its temporary venue in Arlington, Virginia from November 2008 to January 2009.

The musical opened on Broadway in April 2009. It was nominated for eleven 2009 Tony Awards and won three, Best Original Score, Best Orchestration and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Alice Ripley. It also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming just the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. The previous musical to win the Pulitzer was Rent, in 1996, which was also directed by Michael Greif. In awarding the prize to Kitt and Yorkey, the Pulitzer Board called the show "a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals."[1]

The Broadway production closed on January 16, 2011 after 21 previews and 733 regular performances.



Workshops and readings (2002–2007)

The musical began in 1998 as a 10-minute workshop sketch about a woman undergoing electroshock therapy, and its impact on her family, called Feeling Electric. Yorkey brought the idea to Kitt while both were at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Kitt wrote a rock score for the short piece, which was highly critical of the medical treatment. Both Yorkey and Kitt turned to other projects, but they "kept returning to Feeling Electric", eventually expanding it to a full-length musical.[2] This had a reading in 2002 at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington, then at several venues in New York City,[2] including Cutting Room, featuring Norbert Leo Butz as Dan and Sherie Rene Scott as Diana with Benjamin Schrader as Gabe, Anya Singleton as Natalie, and Greg Naughton as Dr. Madden, with a subsequent staged reading in late 2002 at the Musical Mondays Theater Lab in New York.[3]

In 2005 it was workshopped again at Village Theatre starring Amy Spanger as Diana, Jason Collins as Dan, Mary Faber as Natalie and Deven May as Dr. Madden.[4] In September 2005, the musical ran at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, with Spanger as Diana, Joe Cassidy as Dan, Annaleigh Ashford as Natalie, Benjamin Schrader as Gabe, and Anthony Rapp as Dr. Madden, attracting the attention of producer David Stone.[5] Second Stage Theatre workshopped the piece in both 2006 and 2007, featuring Cassidy and then Greg Edelman as Dan, Alice Ripley as Diana, Mary Faber and then Phoebe Strole as Natalie, Rapp as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine and Skylar Astin as Henry.[citation needed] Meanwhile, at the urging of Stone and director Michael Greif, who had joined the team, the creators focused the show on the family's pain rather than on the critique of the medical establishment.[2]

Off-Broadway (2008)

Next to Normal was produced off-Broadway under its current name at Second Stage Theatre from January 16 through March 16, 2008, directed by Greif, with Anthony Rapp as assistant director and musical staging by Sergio Trujillo. The cast featured Ripley as Diana, Brian d'Arcy James as Dan, Aaron Tveit as Gabe, Jennifer Damiano as Natalie, Adam Chanler-Berat as Henry, and Asa Somers as the Doctors. The understudies were Jessica Phillips, Kevin Kern, Corey Boardman, and Morgan Weed. The surname of the family was changed from Brown to Goodman.[6] Although the show received mixed reviews,[7][8] at least one reviewer criticized it for pushing an irresponsible message about the treatment of bipolar disorder and for failing to strike the proper balance between pathos and comedy.[9] The critics found the show internally confused, and the team decided to make major changes in both the book and score, including eliminating the original title song, "Feeling Electric". They concentrated the story entirely on the emotions of Diana and her family as they confront bitter truths.[2]

Arena Stage (2008)

The rewritten musical was then given a regional theatre production at the Arena Stage in its temporary theatre in Crystal City, Virginia, from November 21, 2008 through January 18, 2009. Greif returned as director. Ripley and most of the off-Broadway cast participated, but d'Arcy James remained in New York to play the title character in Shrek the Musical, being replaced by J. Robert Spencer. Louis Hobson played Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine. Mary Mossberg replaced Jessica Phillips, Michael Berry replaced Kevin Kern, Tim Young replaced Corey Boardman, and Meghann Fahy replaced Morgan Weed.[10] The critics noticed that "comic songs and glitzy production numbers" had been replaced by songs that are complementary to the emotional content of the book; the production received rave reviews.[11][12]

Broadway (2009–2011)

Next to Normal began previews on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on March 27, opening on April 15, 2009. The cast from the Arena Stage production returned as well as the director, Greif. The musical was originally booked for the 1,096-seat Longacre Theatre, but, according to producer David Stone, "When the Booth Theatre became available... we knew it was the right space for Next to Normal".[13][14]

Reviews were favorable. Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote that the Broadway production is "A brave, breathtaking musical. It is something much more than a feel-good musical: it is a feel-everything musical."[15] Rolling Stone Magazine called it "The best new musical of the season – by a mile."[16] Next to Normal was on the Ten Best of the Year list for 2009 of "Curtain Up".[17]

Next to Normal set a new box office record at the Booth Theatre for the week ending January 3, 2010, grossing $550,409 over nine performances. The previous record was held by the 2006 production of Brian Friel's Faith Healer with a gross of $530,702.[18] One year later Next to Normal broke that record again during its final week on Broadway (week ending January 16, 2011) grossing $552,563 over eight performances.[19] The producers recouped their initial investment of $4 million a few days after its one year anniversary on Broadway.[20] At the end of its run Next to Normal grossed $31,764,486 the most out of all the shows that ran at the Booth Theatre earning double the amount of money than its closest competition, I'm Not Rappaport.[21]

Kyle Dean Massey played Gabe for part of 2009 joining the cast regularly in January 2010, and Brian d'Arcy James, who originated the role of Dan in the Off-Broadway production, joined the Broadway cast in May 2010 for a limited engagement.[22] Married couple Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley took over the roles of Diana and Dan Goodman on July 19, 2010.[23] John Kenrick wrote in November 2010 that the show "is glowing with breathtaking brilliance as it ends its Broadway run."[24]

The Broadway production closed on January 16, 2011 after 21 previews and 733 regular performances.[25][26]

Twitter (2009)

In May 2009, about six weeks into the Broadway Production, Next to Normal began publishing an adapted version of the show over Twitter, a social media network. Over 35 days, the serialized version of the show was published in the form of tweets, short messages utilized by Twitter, a single line from a character at a time. The Twitter performance ended the morning of June 7, 2009, the morning of the 2009 Tony Awards.[27] The initiative earned the musical the 2009 OMMA Award for Best in Show Situation Interactive.[28]

US Tour and regional

Equity National Tour (2010-2011)

Next to Normal began a U.S. tour at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, California, from November 23, 2010 through January 2, 2011. The tour is then scheduled to play in 16 cities in the U.S., and end in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in July 2011. Alice Ripley reprises her role as Diana, Asa Somers plays Dan, with Emma Hunton as Natalie, Curt Hansen as Gabe, Preston K. Sadleir as Henry and Jeremy Kushnier as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine.[29][30]

Non-Equity National Tour (2012)

A Non-Equity National Tour of Next to Normal will be starting in 2012. The only announced stop (so far) is in Kansas City, MO at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts from June 5th - June 10th, 2012.

Dallas (2011)

The first regional premier played in Dallas, TX from June 10 to July 3, 2011, in a production by Uptown Players, at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Directed by Michael Serrecchia with Patty Breckenridge as Diana, Gary Floyd as Dan, Erica Harte as Natalie, Anthony Carillo as Gabe, Jonathan Gilland as Henry, and Jonathan Bragg as the Doctors Fine/Madden.

Cincinnati (2011)

The show will run September 7 to September 25, 2011 at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Ohio, starring Broadway veteran Jessica Hendy. [31]

Salt Lake City (2011)

The show will run September 16 to October 1, 2011 at Pioneer Theatre Company of Salt Lake City, Utah.[32] Cast stars Judy McLane as Diana and features Jonathan Rayson as Dan, Ephie Aardema as Natalie, Matt Dengler as Gabe, Alex Brightman as Henry, and Ben Crawford as Doctors Fine/Madden.

Oklahoma City (2011)

The show will run from November 11 to November 20 at the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre in Oklahoma City, OK, starring Stacey Logan with Lane Fields, Matthew Alvin Brown, Anderson Daniel, Jennifer Hiemstra, and Jordan Justice.

Sarasota (2011-2012)

The show will run from November 2 to January 7 at Florida Studio Theatre's Keating Theatre in Sarasota, FL. Starring Stacia Fernandez as Diana, Leo Daignault as Dan, Ashley Picciallo as Natalie, Mike Backes as Gabe, James LaRosa as Henry, and Scott Guthrie as Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden.

Milwaukee (2011)

The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre will present the show from December 6, 2011 to January 15, 2012 at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theatre in Milwaukee, WI.[33]

Coral Gables (2012)

The show will run from January 18 to February 12 at the Actors Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, FL

Boston (2012)

The show will run March 9 to April 7, 2012 at the SpeakEasy Stage Company, Boston, Massachusetts.[34]

Midvale, Utah (2012)

Next To Normal will run for three weeks at the Midvale Main Street Theatre, just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Performances are March 15th-31st. [35]

Orlando (2012)

The show will run June 8 to July 8, 2012 at the Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando, Florida.


Norway (2010-2011)

The European premiere and the first non-English language production opened September 3, 2010 at Det Norske Teatret in Norway, with Heidi Gjermundsen Broch as Diana, Frank Kjosås as Gabe, Charlotte Frogner as Natalie, Jon Bleiklie Devik as Dan, Thomas Bye as Henry, and Lasse Kolsrud as the Doctors.[36] It opened to rave reviews,[37][38] which made the theatre announce a second season starting October 8, 2011. Press release tells the original Norwegian cast will be performing the second season as well.

Helsinki (2010)

The Finnish production opened December 2, 2010 in Helsinki, Finland at Studio Pasila. The last performance is scheduled for December 8th 2011.[39]

Manila (2011)

The Asian premiere was staged by Atlantis Productions Inc. at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati, Philippines from March 11 through March 27, 2011 and from October 07 through October 26, 2011. The cast included Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Diana, Jett Pangan as Dan, Felix Rivera as Gabe, Bea Garcia as Natalie, Markki Stroem as Henry, and Jake Macapagal as the Doctors.[40]

Melbourne (2011)

The Australian premiere of the musical played at the Melbourne Theatre Company in Melbourne, Australia. Performances were originally from April 28 running through May 28, 2011, and then extended to June 4. The cast included Gareth Keegan as Gabe, Kate Kendall as Diana, Matt Hetherington as Dan, Benjamin Hoetjes as Henry, Christy Sullivan as Natalie, and Bert LaBonté as the Doctors.[41]

Peru (2011)

The Peruvian premiere of the musical was played at the Teatro Marsano, in Lima, Peru. Performances begin at May 5[42] running through June. This is the first time that "Next to Normal" is translated to Spanish. The Cast included Patricia de al Puente as Diana, Paul Martin as Dan, replaced later by Jean Paul Strauss, Gisela Ponce de León as Natalie, and Renato Bonifaz as Gabriel.

Canada (2011-12)

The first Canadian regional production of Next to Normal is being mounted by The Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver, BC. Performances run September 8-October 9, 2011 on the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.[43]

Another Canadian production is being produced by The Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, MB from April 19-May 12, 2012. The production will star Jennifer Lyon as Diana.

The Netherlands (2012)

The Dutch premiere is January 16 2012 at DeLaMar Theater in Amsterdam. Cast is Simone Kleinsma (Diana), Wim van den Driessche (Dan), Michelle van de Ven (Natalie), Freek Bartels (Gabe), Jonathan Demoor (Henry) and René van Kooten (Dr. Fine/ Dr. Madden). [44]

Denmark (2012)

The Danish premiere is February 18, 2012 until April 15, 2010, at Nørrebro Teater in Copenhagen. Cast is Cecilie Stenspil, Troels Lyby, Laus Høybye, Tom Jensen, Kenneth Müller Christensen and Kristine Marie Brendstrup.[45]

Sweden (2012)

A two month run from February 2 until March 30 is announced at Wermland opera in Karlstad, Sweden. Cast is Cecilie Nerfont Thorgersen as Diana, Ole Aleksander Bolstad Bang as Gabe, Christer Nerfont as Dan, Tove Edfeldt as Natalie, Jonas Schlyter as Henry, and Melker Sörensen as the Doctors.[46]

Argentina (2012)

The Argentinian premiere will be on January 3 2012 at Liceo Theater in Buenos Aires. The cast includes Laura Conforte (Diana), Alejandro Paker (Dan), Florencia Otero (Natalie), Matías Mayer (Gabe), Fernando Dente (Henry) and Mariano Chiesa (Dr. Fine/ Dr. Madden).[47]


Act I

Suburban mother Diana Goodman waits up late for her curfew-challenged son and comforts her anxious and overachieving daughter, Natalie. Dan, her husband, then rises to help prepare her family for "Just Another Day." But when her lunch-making takes a turn for the bizarre with sandwiches covering the table, chairs, and floor, the rest realize something is not right. As Dan helps the disoriented Diana, Natalie hurries off to school and the refuge of the piano practice room ("Everything Else"), where she's interrupted by Henry, a classmate who likes to listen to her play — and clearly likes her.

Over the ensuing weeks, Diana makes a series of visits to her doctor, while Dan waits in the car outside, questioning how to cope with his own depression ("Who's Crazy?/My Psychopharmacologist and I"). Diana has suffered from bipolar disorder coupled with hallucinations for sixteen years; Doctor Fine continually adjusts her medications until she says that she doesn't feel anything, at which point he declares her stable. Natalie and Henry grow closer until one day he professes his love for her ("Perfect For You") and they kiss for the first time. Diana witnesses this and realizes that her best years may be behind her, but she misses feeling her high highs and her low lows ("I Miss the Mountains"). With her son's encouragement, she flushes away her medication.

A few weeks later, Dan looks forward to dinner with his family ("It's Gonna Be Good"), but when Diana emerges with a cake singing "Happy Birthday" to her son, Dan and Natalie are devastated. Dan holds Diana and explains that "He's Not Here". Their son died sixteen years ago from an intestinal obstruction before Natalie was born. Natalie storms off. Dan mentions a return to the doctor, but Diana refuses, saying that he can't possibly hurt the way she does ("You Don't Know"). Dan tries to coax her into trusting him, and their dead son joins them onstage, convincing his mother to trust him rather than his father ("I Am The One"). In her room, Natalie vents her anger to Henry, then refuses Diana's apology as her brother watches and taunts her ("Superboy and the Invisible Girl").

A few days later, Diana starts work with Doctor Madden. As her son rises to assert his presence ("I'm Alive"), Dan and Natalie doubt the sessions are helping, but Doctor Madden proposes hypnosis to help Diana discover the roots of her trauma ("Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling"). Finally, Diana agrees it's time to let her son go. Diana goes home to clean out her son's things, pausing to listen to a music box ("I Dreamed a Dance"). Her son appears and dances with her, then invites her to come away with him ("There's a World"), and she does.

At the hospital, where Diana lies sedated and restrained, with self-inflicted gashes to her wrists, Doctor Madden explains to Dan that ECT is the standard course of treatment for drug-resistant patients who are imminently suicidal. Dan goes home to clean up after Diana and decide what to do ("I've Been"). The next day, Diana lashes out at Doctor Madden, refusing the treatment ("Didn't I See This Movie?"), but Dan arrives and convinces her it may be their last hope ("A Light In The Dark").

Act II

Diana receives a series of ECT treatments over two weeks.[48] Meanwhile Natalie explores clubs and drugs ("Wish I Were Here"). Diana returns home from the hospital, but she has lost nineteen years of memory ("Song of Forgetting"). At school, Henry confronts Natalie about her avoiding him, and invites her to the spring formal dance ("Hey #1").

Dan and Diana visit Doctor Madden, who assures them that some memory loss is normal ("Seconds and Years") and encourages Dan to use photos, mementoes, and the like to help Diana recover. Dan gathers the family to do so ("Better Than Before"), with minor success, but when Natalie pulls the music box from a pile of keepsakes, he whisks it away, leaving Diana puzzled. Her son appears, unseen ("Aftershocks"), while Diana tells Dan there's something she's desperate to remember that's just beyond her reach. When Henry arrives looking for Natalie, Diana is given great pause, studying his face and asking his age. He reminds her of someone. Unnerved, Henry hurries up to Natalie's bedroom, to convince her to join him at the dance the next night ("Hey #2").

Diana returns to Doctor Madden ("You Don't Know [Reprise]") who suggests she further explore her history and talk more with her husband. Diana goes home and searches through the boxes of keepsakes, finding the music box, Dan tries to stop her, but the memories of her baby son rush back ("How Could I Ever Forget?"). When Diana confesses remembering her son as a teenager, and demands to know his name, Dan refuses and instead insists they need to return for more treatment ("It's Gonna Be Good [Reprise]"). Henry arrives to pick up Natalie, who has dressed for the dance, just in time for both of them to witness an agitated Dan grab the music box from Diana's hands and smash it to pieces on the floor.

Diana confronts Dan, wondering why he perseveres after how much trouble she's given, while upstairs, Natalie asks Henry much the same question ("Why Stay?"). Dan answers, echoed by Henry, both vowing to stay steadfast ("A Promise"), but just as both couples embrace, their son reappears ("I'm Alive [Reprise]"), sending Diana running to Doctor Madden, asking Natalie to drive her, leaving Dan and Henry behind.

Diana asks Madden what can be done if the medicine has missed the true problem. With her questioning comes the realization that it's not her brain that's hurting: it's her soul ("The Break"). Madden assures her relapse is common, and suggests more ECT ("Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling [Reprise]"). Diana refuses, and though Doctor Madden urges her to continue treatment for her chronic, deadly disease, she thanks him and goes. Natalie, waiting outside, is distressed to learn her mother has left treatment, and Diana explains herself ("Maybe [Next to Normal]"), opening up to her daughter for the first time. She urges Natalie on to the school dance, where Henry awaits to comfort and embrace her ("Hey #3/Perfect for You [Reprise]").

Diana tells Dan that she is leaving him, explaining that he can't always be there to catch her; she needs to take a risk and deal with things on her own for once ("So Anyway"). She goes, leaving their son with him. As Dan wonders how she could have left him after he stood by her for so long, their son approaches, telling Dan he's not going anywhere ("I Am The One [Reprise]"). Dan grows more distraught until at last he faces the boy and calls him by his name for the first time: Gabriel.

Natalie comes home to find her father sitting alone in the dark, in tears. She comforts him and turns the lights on in the room, before assuring him that the two of them will figure things out ("Light"). Henry arrives to study, and Natalie tells him Diana has gone to stay with her own parents. Diana is alone and still hurting, but hopeful. Dan visits Doctor Madden hoping to talk about Diana, but stays to talk about his own struggle. Once again Gabriel watches over them all, as life goes on.

Musical numbers

Note: The song titles are not listed in the program

Act I
  • "Prelude" – Orchestra
  • "Just Another Day" – Diana, Natalie, Gabe, Dan
  • "Everything Else" – Natalie
  • "Who's Crazy" / "My Psychopharmacologist and I" – Dan, Doctor Fine, Diana, ensemble
  • "Perfect for You" – Henry, Natalie
  • "I Miss the Mountains" – Diana
  • "It's Gonna Be Good" – Dan, Natalie, Gabe, Henry, Ensemble
  • "He's Not Here" – Dan
  • "You Don't Know" – Diana
  • "I Am the One" – Dan, Gabe, Diana
  • "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" – Natalie, Diana, Gabe
  • "I'm Alive" – Gabe
  • "Make Up Your Mind" / "Catch Me I'm Falling" – Doctor Madden, Diana, Dan, Natalie, Gabe
  • "I Dreamed a Dance" – Diana, Gabe
  • "There's a World" – Gabe
  • "I've Been" – Dan
  • "Didn't I See This Movie?" – Diana
  • "A Light in the Dark" – Dan, Diana
Act II
  • "Wish I Were Here" – Diana, Natalie
  • "Song of Forgetting" – Dan, Diana, Natalie
  • "Hey #1" – Henry, Natalie
  • "Seconds and Years" – Doctor Madden, Dan, Diana
  • "Better Than Before" – Doctor Madden, Dan, Natalie, Diana
  • "Aftershocks" – Gabe
  • "Hey #2" – Henry, Natalie
  • "You Don't Know" (Reprise) – Diana, Doctor Madden
  • "How Could I Ever Forget?" – Diana, Dan
  • "It's Gonna Be Good" (Reprise) – Dan, Diana
  • "Why Stay?" / "A Promise" – Diana, Natalie, Dan, Henry
  • "I'm Alive" (Reprise) – Gabe
  • "The Break" – Diana
  • "Make Up Your Mind" / "Catch Me I'm Falling" (Reprise) – Doctor Madden, Diana, Gabe
  • "Maybe (Next to Normal)" – Diana, Natalie
  • "Hey #3" / "Perfect for You" (Reprise) – Henry, Natalie
  • "So Anyway" – Diana
  • "I Am the One" (Reprise) – Dan, Gabe
  • "Light" – Diana, Dan, Natalie, Gabe, Henry, Doctor Madden


The principal casts of the major productions of the musical are as follows.

Role Original Off-Broadway Cast Original Broadway Cast Final Broadway Cast Original US Tour Cast
Diana Goodman Alice Ripley Alice Ripley Marin Mazzie Alice Ripley
Dan Goodman Brian d'Arcy James J. Robert Spencer Jason Danieley Asa Somers
Natalie Goodman Jennifer Damiano Jennifer Damiano Meghann Fahy Emma Hunton
Gabriel "Gabe" Goodman Aaron Tveit Aaron Tveit Kyle Dean Massey Curt Hansen
Henry Adam Chanler-Berat Adam Chanler-Berat Adam Chanler-Berat Preston K. Sadleir
Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden Asa Somers Louis Hobson Louis Hobson Jeremy Kushnier
Notable Broadway Replacements
  • Brian d'Arcy James played Dan in a limited run from May 17, 2010, to July 18, 2010.
  • Kyle Dean Massey was called to play Gabe from June 9 through September 6, 2009 while Aaron Tveit performed in Catch Me if You Can at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, WA. He remained an unofficial standby due to Tveit's Gossip Girl filming schedule, taking on the role full time after Tveit's January 3, 2010 departure from the production.

Literary references and allusions

  • During Act I, Gabe reads a paperback copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Kyle Dean Massey said, "I read about a page a night." Salinger's novel about grieving a loss is read by the character who is the loss. In Catcher, Holden struggles with the loss of a brother, Allie, who died of leukemia.
  • When sorting through a box of items from her son's room, Diana picks up a music box from the box to reveal a copy of Goodnight Moon underneath.
  • Natalie carries a hardcover copy of Flowers for Algernon, which she is studying in school. Both the novel and "Next to Normal" deal with psychological experimentation.
  • Diana alludes to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sylvia Plath, and Frances Farmer in the song "Didn't I See This Movie?".
  • Diana also reads from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a play by Edward Albee which deals with marital stress caused by similar issues of "Next to Normal". On her YouTube site, Alice Ripley said that she uses Albee's play as a bible, drawing inspiration for Diana.

Pulitzer Prize Controversy

Next to Normal won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama even though it had not been on the list of three candidates submitted to the twenty-member Pulitzer Prize board by the five-member Drama jury. Jury chairman Charles McNulty publicly criticized the Board for overlooking the three plays that were not running on Broadway at the time of the Award in favor of one that was.[49][50][51]

Awards and nominations

Original Off-Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2008 Audience Award Favourite New Off-Broadway Musical Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Alice Ripley Nominated
Outstanding Music Tom Kitt Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor Aaron Tveit Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Kevin Adams Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Score Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey Nominated

Original Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2009 Audience Award[52] Favourite New Broadway Musical Nominated
Favourite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical J. Robert Spencer Nominated
Favourite Leading Actress in a Broadway Musical Alice Ripley Won
Favourite Featured Actor in a Broadway Musical Aaron Tveit Won
Favourite Featured Actress in a Broadway Musical Jennifer Damiano Nominated
Favourite Diva Performance Alice Ripley Nominated
Favourite Onstage Pair Alice Ripley and J. Robert Spencer Nominated
Favourite Breakthrough Performance: Male Aaron Tveit Nominated
Favourite Breakthrough Performance: Female Jennifer Damiano Nominated
Helen Hayes Award[53] Outstanding Non-Resident Production Won
Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production J. Robert Spencer Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production Alice Ripley Won
Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production Jennifer Damiano Nominated
Aaron Tveit Won
Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Book of a Musical Brian Yorkey Nominated
Best Original Score Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical J. Robert Spencer Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Alice Ripley Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Jennifer Damiano Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Michael Greif Nominated
Best Orchestrations Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt Won
Best Scenic Design Mark Wenland Nominated
Best Lighting Design Kevin Adams Nominated
Best Sound Design Brian Ronan Nominated
2010 Audience Award Favourite Long-Running Musical Nominated
Favourite Replacement Male Kyle Dean Massey Won
Pulitzer Prize for Drama Won


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  40. ^ [3] Philippines Broadway World
  41. ^ "Listing, 'Next to Normal'" Melbourne Theatre Company, retrieved December 4, 2010
  42. ^ [4] Obra musical de Broadway "Casi normal" se estrena por primera vez en Lima traducida al español
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ Casi Normarles Argentina
  48. ^ " 'Next to Normal' Synopsis", accessed April 28, 2011
  49. ^ [5] Los Angeles Times[dead link]
  50. ^ Hetrick, Adam."Pulitzer Drama Juror David Rooney Weighs In On Next to Normal Win", April 13, 2010
  51. ^ Simonson, Robert."'s Theatre Week In Review, April 10-April 16: The Pulitzer Paradox", April 16, 2010
  52. ^
  53. ^ Helen Hayes Award listing, accessed July 23, 2010

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