Not Your Normal Musical

Theater: ‘Next To Normal’
Jim Nurre (Dan), Maria Hickey (Diana) and Wendell Scherer (the son) in “Next To Normal.” Photo submitted

Mental illness may not seem like a ripe subject for a musical, but at least as far back as Sondheim’s “Anyone Can Whistle” in 1965, artists have found rich material and compelling stories about it to tell on stage. “Dear Evan Hansen” is a spectacular recent example, but one of the most successful and beloved musicals on this theme is 2009’s “Next to Normal,” the story of Diana Goodman, who lives with bipolar disorder, and the family living under the shadow of her illness.

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