Songs of Psychiatry

Just stroll the halls of the local asylum, and the mellifluous yet deranged cries of the psych patients are sure to convince you that music and mental illness were simply made to go together. In any case, that's the idea Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey had when they composed Next to Normal, a pop-rock musical that went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway hit. Miamians will discover just how entertaining manic depression can be when Actors' Playhouse puts on this show at the Miracle Theatre.

The story centers on a seemingly average American family that, over the course of 16 years, is forced to cope with the increasing intensity of their matriarch Diana's mental disease and the barrage of medications and complications that comes with it. Husband Dan adores his wife, but that love isn't enough to dull the pain of the family's problems. Jodie Langel, who played Cosette and later Éponine in the Broadway production of Les Misérables, is Diana, our bipolar protagonist.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Jan. 18. Continues through Feb. 12, 2012


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