My journey as a thespian was a little strange. Basically, I did a bunch of shows in elementary school; then it was only in my senior year of high school that I got back onto stage.
One of the biggest shows to come out that year, one that many of my friends were obsessed with was Next to Normal. I’m not sure what, exactly that says about us, considering that it’s about a woman dealing with pathological grief and bipolar disorder, manifesting in hallucinations of her son who died as an infant. But it’s also about a husband at his wits end, and a daughter who’s trying to live up to the ideal of a brother she’s never known.
It’s a harrowing portrayal of mental health, a family in crisis, and the music is stunning.
It’s messy. It’s emotional. It’s gorgeous. And I think it’s summed up so well in the closing number, Light. This is a video from the Broadway replacement cast, where the main role, Diana, was played by the late, great Marin Mazzie. (Her voice blows me away every time!)
Day after day
Give me clouds and rain and gray
Give me pain, if that's what's real
It's the price we pay to feel
The price of love is loss
But still we pay
We love anyway