Mac-Haydn Theatre Offers the Regional Premiere of Next To Normal
It is always very exciting when a theater company of any repute presents its audience with something out of the ordinary for them. If they are a company that normally presents comedies and dramas and suddenly pops a musical into their schedule, it tends to shake up the order of things. When a house, like the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham that has given its audiences fifty-plus years of traditional musical theater, veers off the path of the expected and presents its audience with something guaranteed to shake up the order of things, it is exhilarating for the theater-going community. Mac-Haydn has chosen to add the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next To Normal as its next production
This will be the first time Next To Normal will be presented on an area stage.
The show made its Broadway debut on 2009, nominated for 11 Tony awards as well as the Pulitzer. The show is a rock musical that centers upon a mother who struggles with mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder, and the effects that managing the illness has on her family. The play addresses issues of grief, drug abuse, depression, suicide, and electroshock therapy (ECT).
The show promises to be unlike anything ever presented on the Mac-Haydn stage. Directed by Mac-Haydn Artistic Director John Saunders, who says that while the show is not necessarily considered traditional summer stock fare, he believes that “it holds a mirror for the viewer and offers an incredibly truthful look at a real family facing very real issues. Though the material is, at times heavy, it is so beautifully written as to encompass great moments of levity, humor and above all else, hope.”
Next To Normal features a book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. The cast is an amalgamation of Mac-Haydn veterans and experienced Broadway performers.
This regional premiere will hopefully not only afford the Mac-Haydn audience “regulars” a new experience at the theater, but will also encourage those who have not yet experienced what this venerable old lady of summer stock has to offer and will encourage them to step in and sample the waters.
Vaccination and masks are required for all patrons. Next To Normal runs August 4-14. For ticket information: www.machaydntheatre.org or call 518-392-9292.