“Next to Normal” a year later

An article in yesterday’s New York Times yesterday had me grinning ear to ear this morning. The article, entitled “Broadway’s Unlikely Hit Gives Hope to the Bold” focuses on the journey that the musical Next to Normal has taken, and the astounding success that the show has had in less than a year in a Broadway theatre.

Happy birthday, Next to Normal!

I first became introduced to the show back when a friend of mine was helping to stage previews in its Washington, D.C. previews. I didn’t get to see the show then, due to the timing of its D.C. run, but seeing the show in New York City last summer made an absolute convert out of me. Seeing it again a few months ago during another visit helped cement the production as one of my favorite Broadway musicals.

I raved about the show already in my July 2009 blog entry after seeing it the first time, so I won’t rehash too much of the play-by-play review. In short, it’s a drama that centers around a father, mother, and daughter dealing with the mother’s mental illness, and the effect that her treatment has on the entire family. It’s riveting, compelling, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. You should go see this show.

What’s really intriguing about the NY Times article (which you can read in its entirety by clicking here) is the revelation that in one year of performances on a Broadway stage, the production has actually made its investors’ money back.

That’s definitely not something to take for granted, as many well known and star-studded productions fail to ever make their investment back. (For example, Shrek the Musical has already closed without paying for itself, and Rock of Ages is still arguably going strong without having turned a profit yet.)

Next to Normal‘s accomplishment is partly due to its gripping subject matter and outstanding performances, but the producers also deserve credit for their smart marketing campaign and prudent spending. Read the full NYC article to learn more about the amazing journey that the show has had.

Congrats, Next to Normal!

Shameless plug for Charlotte people: this show is going on tour already, and will be making its Charlotte debut through the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center during the 2010/2011 Broadway Lights Series. Don’t miss it.

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