A Poignant Portrayal Of Mental Illness
Cultural and creative Fort Worth mainstay Casa Manana celebrates its 60th Anniversary with a dynamic 2018/19 program including three time Tony, Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical Next To Normal. Written by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, the poignant production explores themes of grief, loss, and ethical practice in modern psychiatry through the lens of suburban life.
Praised for its courageous portrayal of a modern family coping with mental health issues during its Broadway run in 2011, Next to Normal's effervescent pop rock score punctuates the story of the Goodmans. At first stay-at-home mom Diana goes about her usual routine of preparing packed lunches for for her over-achieving daughter and curfew-bending son, but something seems amiss when the family find sandwiches covering every inch of the kitchen. It turns out Diana has battled bipolar disorder and psychosis for the past 16 years, and her various medications yield a varied array of side-effects. Deeply moving and soul-stirring, the musical tenderly captures the kaleidoscopic highs and lows of mental illness with startling results.