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Tony Winner
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When Next to Normal releases the rights, will community theatres perform it, or will it not be as popular as other shows due to length or subject matter? What about the stage aspects such as set and lighting?

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:04 am
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Design aspects will not be an issue for companies that know what they're doing. There will be those that have the means to go "whole hog," those that don't but know how to utilize their resources effectively, and those who don't know anything but painted flats, a general wash, and a set of lapel mics, and their productions will show it. The subject matter will be suited for some companies but not for others. The show itself will get produced by amateur companies fairly often, but it will never be as popular as the "community theatre staples" like Fiddler, Man of la Mancha, and The Music Man... but then, what show is?

I see it ending up as an occasionally produced gem that succeeds about two thirds of the time.

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:13 am
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Tony Winner
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I actually would love to see a theatre with the talent go for a minimalist Next to Normal, so I'm looking forward to when the rights are released.

I do think there will be quite a few sucky productions, and due to the difficult vocal roles and subject matter, it won't be anywhere near as popular as Music Man, Grease, etc.

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:34 am
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Next to Normal is pretty minimalist as is- unit set with lighting effects for transitions. Other than the projected house and eyes, there's no special effect needed.

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:38 am
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Tony Winner
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I was thinking about weather it could be adapted for a stage only big enough for half the house, I figure if it only has 6 actors. The vocal demands for Diana would be pretty stressing. And Next to normal for high school? thoughts?

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:56 pm
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I doubt high schools will even WANT to do it because it has such few parts... but even if they did want to do it, they shouldn't. Sorry, I just don't think it'd be healthy for a high school girl to play either Natalie or Diana. It just wouldn't be good by the end IMO.

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:38 pm
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Tony Winner
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I would have to say this show is more intense then alot of shows out there. Rent is not as intense as Next to Normal by abit. I guess High School is not a good idea.

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:43 pm
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Diana and Natalie are roles that the vast majority of teenagers have no business attempting because they are simply not developed enough as performers and individuals to do justice to the demands of the role. But then again, the same can be said for Luisa, Aldonza, Mrs. Walker, Blanche DuBois, Mama Rose, Lady Macbeth, and a host of others that high schools cast hapless seventeen-year-olds in every year. Like these, when the occasional high school does (foolishly) attempt Next to Normal, girls will get into characters they can't relate to, sing in voices too immature for the score, succeed in saying the lines but not consummating the role, and get rave reviews from the school weekly and a few local reporters who don't know better. This is nothing new.

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:47 pm
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Luisa and Natalie, however, ARE teenages. So there's a bit more leeway there.

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"I LOVE incarceration,
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I'll be strapping up an inmate,
Very tightly, very soon.
So wave one bachelor goodbye,
She'll be your bride- she'd rather die
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In my sordid saloon..."


Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:19 pm
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Everyone knows the good Luisas are in their early twenties, playing down. That's a standard convention of theatre, and it's especially vital with unusually demanding roles. I've seen about five productions of the Fantasticks and never a Luisa who truly managed to rise completely to her daunting task, but I can certainly say that the twenty-two-year-old came out miles ahead of the bona fide sixteen-year-old virgin.

Jennifer Damiano is a very special exception, and in no way represents ninety-nine percent of the high school girlies who are destined to try filling her shoes. Even granting that, there are MANY actresses in their mid-20's who could hide their few extra years under some makeup and match, if not exceed, her in their sleep.

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Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:04 pm
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Alice...

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Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:56 am
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While this is far off topic, I completely disagree with you, Beagle. Luisa and Natalie are very relatable roles for a young girl. They may not be easy parts to play, but I don't think Jennifer Damiano is the only girl her age who can play that part. You are a very close minded person.


Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:42 am
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