Boiler Room Theatre debuts its most eagerly anticipated production of the 2012 season next week with Next To Normal, the groundbreaking 2009 Tony Award-winning musical, starring Nashville stage favorite Megan Murphy Chambers as Diana, a suburban wife and mother who contends with her worsening bipolar disorder while her family struggles to take care of one another.
Next to Normal runs at the theatre, located at The Factory in Franklin, May 25-June 16. Next to Normal, with music by Tom Kitt and book/lyrics by Brian Yorkey, was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2009, winning three: Best Original Score, Best Orchestration and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (for Alice Ripley, who worked at Tennessee Repertory Theatre early in her career, playing Sandy in Tennessee Rep’s production of Grease). Next to Normal is only the eight musical to receive the Pultizer Prize for Drama (2010).
“For me, Next To Normal is precisely the type of show that the Boiler Room Theatre was created for," says Jamey Green, the BRT's co-founder and artistic director who is serving as both director and musical director for the production.
"It has a small cast, powerful story and an incredible score—in my opinion, one of the best written for a Broadway show. It is intimate, funny and painfully truthful. It's a show that stays with one for a while. While it pulls no punches regarding the loss and pain associated with mental illness, it has a surprisingly hopeful quality. In the end, it is very life affirming and empowering."
Starring alongside Chambers is Mike Baum (most recently seen as Bobby in Circle Players’ production of Company and at the Boiler Room as Brad in The Rocky Horror Show) as Dan; Act Too Players alumna Paige Brouillette as Natalie; Belmont University musical theatre student Kevin Mead as Gabe; Jordan Ravellette (last seen in Circle Players’ Brighton Beach Memoirs and in BRT’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Henry; and Ben Van Diepen (who made his BRT debut as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar) as Dr.Madden. Chambers, who directed The Rocky Horror Show at BRT, is one of the founding members of MAS Nashville and was last seen onstage at Street Theatre Company in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
Performances are May 25-June 16, with curtain at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $27 for adults, $25 for seniors and students, and $21 for children 12 and under for Friday and Saturday night performances. Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students, and $19 for children 12 and under for Sunday matinees. Tickets for Tuesday performances are two-for-the-price-of-one ($27 for two tickets or $13.50 for single tickets), while all tickets are $17 for Thrifty Thursday performances.