September 8 - October 9
Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Next to Normal
Music by Tom Kitt
Book and lyrics Brian Yorkey
The feel-everything musical
Fresh from a remarkable Broadway run comes one of the most lauded musicals of the new century! This contemporary musical will shake audiences to the core with its groundbreaking themes and thrilling score. Hailed for the empathy and accuracy with which it portrays one family coping with a painful secret, Next to Normal will find a place next to your heart.
Running time: approx. 2.5 hours
"N2N rocks the house! A new cutting-edge rock musical…leave the theatre feeling exhilarated" —Peter Birnie, The Vancouver Sun [Read More]
"The best performance I have ever seen…If there is a theatre show this year YOU MUST see, it’s Next to Normal" —Raul Pacheco, Hummingbird604 [Read More]
"Packs an emotional punch…an exhilarating, visceral score" —Lena Sin, The Province [Read More]
"Shockingly entertaining…a fabulous production and a powerful season opener" —Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier [Read More]
"Fascinating tale with dynamic performances and a breathless pace" —Jerry Wasserman, The Province [Read More] *Spoiler Alert!
"With an ensemble cast worthy of any Broadway stage, this Arts Club production is a powerful opener to its new season" —Mark Robins, GayVancouver [Read More]
"The best production I’ve seen…completely engaging, must be experience firsthand" —Taryn Hubbard, Press Plus One [Read More]
"Go and see Next to Normal… It's powerful stuff yet poignant, at times comedic and the characters will grab at your empathetic emotions and not let go…a "don't miss it" show" —Gillian Lockitch, Review from the House [Read More]
"An evocative story…every single cast member has serious musical chops…truly gorgeous" —Andrea Rabinovitch, Vancouver Observer [Read More] *Spoiler Alert!
Winner of 3 Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize
"A brave, breathtaking musical" —The New York Times
"Rock is alive and rolling like thunder in Next to Normal" —Rolling Stone
"Grade: A. Agonizingly beautiful" —Entertainment Weekly
"A hallmark of a great musical is that it can grab you, shake you, and take you into its world. Next to Normal did before and still does" —New York Daily News
"Next to Normal is one of the bravest musicals to hit the mainstream—a jolt of raw, contemporary pain, propelled by a rock ‘n’ roll pulse. It makes your heart swell" —The New York Times
"Wonderful production. Extremely moving with touching performances. Both emotionally and musically fulfilling!"
"A very interesting show. It wasn't a happy show but it was very thoughtful"
—Gordon, White Rock
"We absolutely loved it. The music and singing was great. The story was a bit sad...makes me think I'm lucky for what I have"
—David, White Rock
"The play was terrific - a neo-opera of sorts. The topic was so topical as mental health issues are rampant in our society, yet are kept in the shadows. Every effort at taking away the mystique of the everyday suffering of these individuals is a step toward a social healing. Many thanks. P.S. The acting was good too!"
"Truly amazing! The entire cast was fabulous - so real! This delicate subject was performed with so much respect and dignity. Kudos to the entire cast and production team"
"This performance was simply breathtaking. Each part was cast perfectly and the singing was sublime. I'm pretty sure I cried the entire time, and found moments to laugh between the tears. Thank you for sharing this with us and I hope to see this performance again!"
—Malika, Port Coquitlam
"Every day of our lives we continue to learn from our experiences and our connections with others. Thanks for allow me to extend my learning with the amazing production, Next to Normal. Thought provoking, intense and so real. We are actually all living next to normal!! Way to go, Arts Club...another fabulous evening"
"The show was AMAZING! The cast and crew did a phenomenal job, and I am greatly looking forward to the next production"
"It was a great start to the new season; it was such a good idea to start with such brilliant musical! good job all around!"
"WONDERFUL!!!! Very moving, and SO well done. Thank you for one of the best productions I have enjoyed"
"Outstanding production. The piece was so moving. Well written. And the actor's all delivered such depth and truth. Wonderful direction and set..."
—Laureen, North Vancouver
"I have to applaud the entire cast for the marvelously heartstring-tugging performance they gave to me with intense energy: Caitriona Murphy for the marvelous portrayal of a troubled suburban mother with an astounding vocal range, Eric Morin for managing the multi-faceted character that is Gabe, Warren Kimmel for exhibiting amazing high notes as a tenor, Colin Sheen for fleshing out Henry as a sympathetic stoner who holds on to Natalie through her turmoil, and Jennie Neumann for showing a pained angsty teenager who faces neglect from her parents.
The musical accompaniment provides a major part of the mood; whether it is uplifting as in “It’s Gonna Be Good” or heart-wrenching as in "He’s Not Here". I would most definitely want to see this musical again and would recommend all my friends to do the same"
"I really liked this play probably because I could relate to what set off the chain of events for this "family". I had virtually the same experience but lucky for me without the dire consequences. This was a dark play but it resonated with me. Also, I am amazed that someone could turn something so serious into a musical. Outstanding”
"Wow, what a show. It was excellent. The story, music, acting was perfect. One of the very best shows I've ever seen. Nice choice for the opener of the season. Can't wait for the rest. Keep up the good work"
"I thoroughly enjoyed the production. The storyline was relevant and moving. The players were very talented and made their roles so believable"
—Margot, North Vancouver
"I enjoyed the musical play. The play itself is excellent and the actors delivered convincing characters. The stage operations and set worked well as the backdrop to the play"
—Nancy, Port Moody
"The clarity and intensity of the cast blended with the fact that this is a musical allowed us as an audience to embrace and be more involved in the difficult complexities of the play without being overwhelmed. A Next to Normal love story"
"My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the matinee. Our family has been touched by bipolar and the portrayal of a family in crisis was spot on. There were times when I couldn't stop crying because it evoked such strong feelings and made me remember how tough it has been to go through these experiences. This was truly the best play we have seen"
"The voices were outstanding - I cried for the last 5 minutes - emotionally draining. My Mother had 2 friends who were admitted to Essondale (hospital for the insane) when they had depression going through menopause in the 60's and went thru electric shock treatments for that. None of us know how difficult it is to live with chronic mental problems - mild depression is bad enough. I lost my son to cancer 3 years ago and took 1 Adavan prescribed by the Dr - knew I didn't want to continue that path, all the help I got from a psychologist was that time would make things better - not a lot of help when you are hurting - mental health needs attention - thank you for putting the message out there"
"Fabulous! I enjoyed every moment. Excellent acting and singing by the entire cast. Brilliantly written screenplay and plot. I am glad to see mental illness and family dynamics be addressed in such a creative and authentic way. The character development in this play was amazing - I went through a roller coaster of emotions. Bravo!"
"One of the finest productions the Arts Club has ever done. I was impressed to see such a large and sensitive subject handled so brilliantly. The male lead was so convincing. Well done!"
"I don't usually comment on the productions I see, but this one was amazing! The music, the talent, the story. I was absorbed and completely invested in all the characters. Amazing"
"I enjoyed the musical, very much. It was new to me. I was very moved and found great humour at times. The performances were great"
"I don't think I’m alone is saying, the material is thought provoking, heart wrenching, and hits home more than a few times. This kind of show would not carry unless delivered by a cast like this one. Well acted, well sung (those tenors, wow!), and well worth the few Kleenex required"
"My daughter and I were a bit teary after seeing this fabulous opera. Mostly because, sadly, our wife/mother endured the same tragedy. But also, because it was tightly written, very well performed (witness the prolonged Standing O at the end---especially for the "Mother.") We have told many people about NTN already. Outside of the Buddy Holly Story (different piece entirely), this was our most memorable production. Excellent—and Kleenex stock went up as a result of our viewing the opera. Thanks much!!!"
"Powerfully acted and wonderful and the theater plus box office staff are fantastic...it’s the people that make the experience...they changed seats for me when away so graciously...many thanks to staff"
"Absolutely brilliant performance!"
"One of the MOST POWERFUL theatrical events I have ever had pleasure to attend. The difficult subject matters (Mental Illness, Suicide) were masterfully interwoven and delivered. In the words of my Teen Aged son it was an EPIC PERFORMANCE. Thank you"
—Stenvne, Maple Ridge
"Saw this play last Wednesday night. Absolutely first rate. Would recommend this to everyone. The power in the singing voices was amazing. The story carried a serious message that was delivered flawlessly by all cast members. It was a great evening"
"I saw this production on Broadway last year and loved it. The production at the Stanley, was right up there with the Broadway production. I loved both. The voices are amazing. Thank you for putting on this production"
"We really enjoyed the play. It was well written. The casting was excellent; the voices superb. Poignant, thought provoking"
"Great great show! A tough subject but the cast pulled off an amazing production. The time sped by and I was in an emotional rollercoaster. Well Done!"
"Millerd and the cast & crew are to be commended–this great play covers a topic that had us a little uneasy before going, but it was all SO well done it had us at a state of heightened emotions in minutes and kept us there through the whole play. You transported us to a place we hadn't expected. Fabulous–just what theatre is supposed to be–exciting, entertaining, eye-opening, and thought-provoking all at once"
—Tom, West Vancouver
"This was not only the best musical I have seen in a while, it was one of the best plays. The performances were incredible as was the music. Warren Kimmel's performance as Dan was particularly noteworthy both musically and dramatically but all of the actors told the story with compassion and conviction. What it says about mental illness and our society's treatment of it is spot on. It should be required viewing for anyone working in and around the field of mental health and family support. I teach Human Services and I would love to have all my students see it"
—Jay, Williams Lake
"Very good plot, great vocals, and outstanding cast. I highly recommend Next to Normal"
"Extraordinary production at every level! A must-see..."
"I was so emotionally touched, and as a 24 year old male, tears were rolling down my eyes 4 times!!! I was so impressed, and I know there is such value in witnessing live theatre. Next to Normal soothed my soul, I have been diagnosed with bipolar and have had manic depressive episodes. Clearly, I feel embarrassed by this because of the stigma attached to such mental illness, but when I watched Next to Normal, I was taken back by how thoughtful, sensitive, and emotionally exhaustive (yes that's a great feeling) this production made me think and feel. Bravo for the whole team, on a great night I had tonight"
"One of the best shows I've seen at the Stanley! The performances were Broadway quality. Loved the set and great sound. Thank you for staging this show in Vancouver"
"Oh my goodness, we were just blown away… still talking about it. Everyone can take something away from this play, we were so delighted to see that gifted folks like the actors/writers and the Arts Club have taken a subject that needs exposure and open discussion for all… THANK YOU for an incredible experience. We also must say everyone of the cast were superb!!!"
"It was fabulous! Deep and emotional, this music was unique; touching on a very heavy topic in a incredibly creative and entertaining way. I was very pleasantly surprised by the story line and found it thought-provoking"
—Lynell, North Vancouver
"We were blown away by Next To Normal. The acting/singing/casting was superb. While the subject matter was difficult, the evening rang 'true' and the reward was a deeper understanding of the terrible consequences of grief and guilt"
"We see over 10 plays a year and have done so for many years. Next to Normal is one of the best, probably the best, play we've ever seen. Some should be warned that the play could be too powerful as it dramatizes some of the reality of mental illness"
—David, North Vancouver
"Next to Normal was the best Arts Club production I have seen in some time. All the elements of staging the piece came together beautifully. Every member of the six person cast was outstanding. The script was daring and always interesting as it explored topics seldom dealt with in a musical. The production had my rapt attention throughout. Well done!"
"We took a chance and purchased tickets for N2N during its opening week, fairly certain that the Stanley production would never measure up to the US touring company we'd seen multiple times (starring Alice Ripley as Diana Goodman). The Broadway stars set the bar extraordinarily high for any company intent on mounting this exceptional, emotional, "feel-everything" American story. By the time Diana begins to grapple with her new battery of prescription bottles, we realized our fears about the caliber of the Stanley's show were unfounded. Your production is outstanding. The exposed "pit" musicians, staging, lighting, acting and vocal talents all surpassed our wildest "worries and wonderings". Thank you for a truly memorable evening of theater. I encourage anyone who happens to be in Vancouver in the coming weeks to rearrange their schedules and get to the Stanley for Next to Normal. You will be forever changed by this amazing piece of art. Thank you!"
"Absolutely brilliant. Best play I have seen in years. Outstanding cast"
"I cringed when I heard my wife ordered a subscription to this year’s Arts Club. Her friend had to cancel last Saturday so I was pressed into going. Now that I said that. I was amazed, inspired, and more entertained that I can remember. What a show! What singers! I might have even shed a tear. If the rest are half as good as Next to Normal then I am in for the season. Great job!"
—Mike, North Vancouver
"A very brave production. I am pleased to see that serious issues such as mental health are being addressed–it is long overdue and necessary to make these individuals and their families feel included and valued in our society!! We must remove the stigma of mental health problems and offer support and understanding–so thank you for doing your part"
"Having listened to the cast recording prior to attending this production, I am somewhat familiar with the songs of the show and the cast truly delivered as if they were the original company - or maybe even more. Thank you for bringing this production into the city and giving the chance for Vancouverites to discover the beauty of this musical!"
"It was an amazing evening of singing. We've been to many Broadway shows and this rivalled them in talent and entertainment–I've been telling everyone since to go see it before it closes"
"Excellent. Very well done. Cast was superb and put so much into it. Wouldn't hesitate to see it again"
"I thought that it was wonderful...a musical about Manic Depression. It was both inspirational and I thought ended on a very positive (but not saccharine ) note. However, the whole play was poignant but also somewhat funny. It was brilliantly written too"
–Renie, White Rock
"Dramatic and insightful how the grieving process affects each and every one of us. True to the core with the productions reality. The actors were magnificent in their portrayals. Can hardly wait to see the next production. Thank you"
–John S., Vancouver
"What a wonderful show! My husband and I were entertained and moved and enlightened throughout the entire production! A thoughtful, eye-opening show that gave us new insights and at the same time had many amusing moments. A great score, a strong cast, and a fine production crew! We were very impressed! Thank you to everyone who was involved!"
"Enjoyed it! It was a serious topic, but very well done. All of the actors were very good in their roles. I thought Diane and her husband were particularly well cast, and the chemistry was exceptionally good between them. The story brought tears to my eyes"
"We loved this show. The quality of the performances and music was very high and the format of a musical dealing with such a difficult and sensitive topic was very unexpected. We felt we learned something but were also entertained"
"An incredible way to bring to light the struggle between the heart and the mind. There were tears, there was laughter, and there was definitely much thought. Well sung, well done"
"One of your best! An incredible launch to another successful season. Congratulations!"
–Kathy, White Rock
"I left the theatre in awe of the performance I had just
experienced. What a powerful production! The audience was
treated to an outstanding display of talent by actors and
musicians whose storytelling through music and lyrics
delivered these characters and their struggles with the fall-out
from mental illness straight to our hearts. Once again the
Arts Club has delivered live theatre that epitomizes what
this art form is all about. Bravo!"
"The show is very impressive as only within 2 hours on stage with a few simple backgrounds, the show can convey several messages to audience. It is not just one meaning but several in-depth philosophies in life. I found it amazing!"
"Absolutely wonderful ! It really was like being right on Broadway! Superb voices! Such energy! Will tell everyone about it so they will see it!"
"Next to Normal has been one of my favourite shows since it debuted, and I was both excited and apprehensive to see Arts Club's production. I was overwhelmed by the stellar performance that was given by all the actors and musicians. The story was told with such raw and powerful truth that I was moved to tears multiple times throughout the night. Thank you to all that brought this show to life. I will be back for sure"
–Sonora, Port Moody
"OMG...This is a truly riveting and raw emotional personal play, that struck my husband and I. We were exhausted at the end of the play, from the all crying! Thank you for bringing "Next to Normal" to the Stanley. I hope your future patrons seeing this play will have a better understanding of supporting their loved ones with Mental Health issues with compassion and love"
"Excellent show. Wonderful singing. Great production"
"WOW. Deeply moving and totally relatable. I was glad I hadn't read anything about the play - I just went for a ride on the crazy train with them. After the show I had to go for a cofee with my friend to come off the high of the performance - literally left me feeling lightheaded! Bravo"
–Melody, Pitt Meadows
"Inspired performance! An emotional roller coaster! Bravo to the artists for transforming such difficult emotional issues into such fantastic and believable entertainment. Every family should see this play"
Behind The Scenes
Music by Tom Kitt
Book and lyrics Brian Yorkey
Starring Warren Kimmel, Eric Morin, Caitriona Murphy, Jennie Neumann, Matt Palmer, Colin Sheen
Director Bill Millerd
Musical Directors Ken Cormier and Bruce Kellett
Set Designer Ted Roberts
Lighting Designer Marsha Sibthorpe
Costume Designer Sheila White
Sound Designer Andrew Tugwell
Assistant Director Shane Snow
Stage Manager Caryn Fehr
Assistant Stage Manager Peter Jotkus
for Vocal Eye for the visually impaired