Angst in Aventura

If Rent was the musical for ’90s urbanites, it could be said that Next to Normal is the middle-class counterpoint. Sleepy neighborhoods, dull houses, and some pill popping are common sights in American suburbia. But what lies beneath that exterior can be mysterious, dark, and, as shown in Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt’s play, heartbreaking. Next to Normal illustrates the familial burden of mental illness. Set to a tumultuous rock score, the audience watches mother Diane Goodman struggle with bipolar disorder as her husband and children endure a roller coaster of emotions trying to cope. After its April 2009 Broadway debut, the musical was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won three, including Best Original Score and Best Orchestration. It also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming only the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. Hailed by the New York Times as brave and breathtaking, South Florida’s production is earning similar praise. The Miami Herald called the Slow Burn Theatre’s performance “extraordinarily powerful theatre” that justifies the buzz surrounding the Boca Raton-based company.
Nov. 7-10, 8 p.m., 2013
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Shelly Davidov