Wednesday, November 10, 2010
After major cast changes and months of sluggish box office, not to mention rumors speculating the inevitable, next to normal has posted a closing notice for January 16, 2010.
Originally mounted Off-Broadway, as well as at Washington DC's Arena Stage, this unlikely musical delved headlong into mental illness. So potent was the controversial tuner that it garnered 11 Tony Award nominations including for Best Musical. The show would win Tonys for its star Alice Ripley, its score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey) and orchestrations (Michael Starobin).
Perhaps its biggest coup de grâce to all naysayers was earning a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year -- controversial in itself since it was hardly a new dramatic work by the time it won.
Personally, I found myself absolutely spellbound by the show, and it certainly melted its way into my heart. And I certainly thought it merited the 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical (it lost out to the irresistible charms of Billy Elliot).
By the time next to normal closes, it will have played 733 regular performances. Fortunately for its legions of fans, they'll be able to catch the touring version of the show headlined by none other than Alice Ripley herself. Performances begin later this month (November 23) at the Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
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