Friday, March 11, 2011

Next To Normal: Is there a cure for a broken soul?

Last night in the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza was the first time to see the rock musical that won three Tony Awards in 2009 and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. I was talking about the presentation of Atlantis Production of Tom Kitt’s Next To Normal that will run on March 11-27 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza in Makati City. The rock musical was directed by Robby Garcia and features Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Jett Pangan, Jake Macapagal, Bea Garcia, Felix Rivera and Markki Stroem.

Next to Normal follows the story of the estranged family of Diana Goodman (Menchu) with her husband Dan (Jett) and their children Natalie (Bea) and Gabe (Felix). Facing trauma Diana needs to see Doctor Madden (Jake) in order to trace the roots of the sudden disturbance in her head. Seeing her mom in distress, Natalie tries to run away from all her family problems and tagging his boyfriend Henry (Markki) with it. Like other families that have their own issues and problems that weaken their relationships to each other, everyone needs to do something to bring that light and get away from the dark in order to remain alive.

Is there a cure for a broken soul? This was the core of Next to Normal as Atlantis Production executed the set properly to show how divided and broken was the Goodman family with Diana in the center trying to hold on with her family and her life. For every crack in the wall of the set represents the wounds in each character as they try to hide it, run away from it and heal it. But sometimes we tend to wish that "all our cares would go away" and win the"fight over the things we feel", which is the same thing that each character of N2N was asking for.

Even it was a rock musical like Rent which I both love, Next to Normal was more emotional and very stressful in terms of the storyline. I don’t know how Menchu and Bea manage to cry on stage 4-5 times and can maintain it in the rest of the run. And honestly, the two ladies did a great job doing their roles as mother and daughter trying to hold on each other despite of their inner conflicts and relationship issues. As for Jett, he did surprised me and never thought that he can actually be on stage doing theater or maybe he really did and this was my first time to see him performing. As always, Felix from Songs from a New World, Xanadu and now Next to Normal, he manage to shift in different characters and proves himself as a stage actor fit in different roles how comical or serious and can be. Markki showed he can do more than modeling and singing after his stint Pilipinas Got Talent and he can be good in theater too.

Next to Normal will run on March 11-27 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in RCBC Plaza in Makati City. For tickets call Atlantis Productions at 892.7078 or 840-1187 or in Ticketworld at 891.9999. Visit for more information about the show, calendars and ticket information.

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