Before I get to the Costco song, what is normal and what is next to normal? I am not sure that in today’s world any upbringing is “normal” and who is to judge what a “normal” American family looks like anyway.
In the Broadway musical, Next to Normal, the family appears typical—father, mother, sister, brother. But, the son is dead and the mother suffers from bi-polar depression. Though they appear normal, this dysfunctional family is filled with heartbreak.
Next to Normal is a rock musical sung by six actors with wonderful voices. My favorites were Kyle Dean Massey who plays the son Gabe and Jennifer Damiono who plays the daughter Natalie. They also have some of the best numbers, Superboy and the Invisible Girl (Natalie) and I’m Alive (Gabe). Alice Ripley, who plays the mother Diana, won a Tony for this role, but the night I saw the show her voice was a little pitchy and did not blend well with the other actors, although her acting was truthful and moving.
Next to Normal is playing at the Booth Theatre, a smaller Broadway house that allows the intimate feeling that this show needs. I don’t know how long it will run, but when I was there last week, it was sold out.
Now for the Costco song…I was lucky enough to see Next to Normal about two years ago when it first opened at 2nd Stage. My most memorable moment was when Diana sang a song called More and More, which was all about shopping at Costco. The song has since been cut from the show because it didn’t really fit, but the lyrics are brilliant and hilarious.
Here you can watch the understudy, Jessica Phillips sing it on You Tube (I prefer her voice to Alice Ripley) Enjoy!
Next To Normal Original Cast Recording