Wednesday, January 17, 2018

FIVE REASONS TO SEE 'NEXT TO NORMAL' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE JANUARY 31 THRU FEBRUARY 25

"Next to Normal" is a contemporary family drama, about a woman’s struggle with mental illness, and the effects of her illness on her family. It is on at The Media Theatre January 31 through February 25.

The Pulitzer Prize winning pop/ rock musical is written by Tom Kitt (Music) and Brian Yorkey (Book and Lyrics), and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2010, going on to win three of the prestigious honors (Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Actress-Alice Ripley). 

Most of the story is told through song, with some scenes taking place simultaneously, and also there are both literal and psychological realities within the narrative. While the musical takes on serious issues, there is- at times- humor which comes at unexpected moments in the script.



There are 5 reasons why you should be sure to get tickets to "Next To Normal" at The Media Theatre:

1) THE CAST

Krissy Fraelich plays the lead role of Diana, the suburban mom with two teenage children whose life is not all that it seems. Diana deals with bipolar disorder, goes through a series of doctors, and strives to establish a 'normal' household. Krissy was seen on The Media Theatre stage in "Gypsy", "A Christmas Story: The Musical", and "The Addams Family". She has performed on practically every stage in the Philadelphia region, was in the original Broadway cast of "The Civil War", and the National Tour of "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".

Ben Dibble plays her husband, Dan, who is dealing with his own depression. Ben is a two-time Barrymore Award winner for Excellence in Theatre and was seen as John Adams in "1776" at The Media Theatre. He performs frequently at The Walnut Street Theatre and The Arden.

Their daughter Natalie, played by Molly Sorensen, is having a new romance with a music student (Henry, portrayed by Christopher Infantino). 

Ronnie Keller plays their son, Gabe, who is very central to the action of the musical.

Doctor Madden, Diana's primary physician whom she sees in 'fantasy' portrayals on occasion, is brought to life on stage by Patrick Ludt.

2) THE DIRECTOR

Geoffrey Goldberg, who directed and choreographed the critically acclaimed production of "Billy Elliot: The Musical" at The Media Theatre two seasons back, returns to bring "Next To Normal" to the stage. He is based in NYC as a director, choreographer, and writer. He has worked on Broadway (Associate Kids Director for "Mary Poppins") and off-Broadway ("Everyday" at the West Village Festival). 
He is currently developing three new musicals, has created new works for Gypsy of The Year and Easter Bonnet Competition on Broadway, The Kennedy Center, as well as award-winning film projects. Visit his website: www.Geoffrey-Goldberg.com

3) THE MEDIA THEATRE

No need to travel far for a touch of Broadway! The Media Theatre, Delco’s only professional music theatre, brings big-city excitement to the small-town feel of State Street in Media. With a calendar full of musical productions, concerts, and children’s performances, the seats here fill quickly–especially since there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Don’t let the convenience fool you–this theater has a lot of the same things you’ll find in NYC, like a dazzling marquee, professional talent, exquisite seats, and a live orchestra…..plus a few things you won’t, such as convenient parking, affordable prices, and a less stressful commute, making it much easier to catch a great performance more often! After all, here on State Street in Delco, the Show Must Go On!
(Thanks to Destination Delco for the above description of The Media Theatre in their Fall/ Winter 2017 magazine!)
MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of the Media Music Theatre Company is to promote and nurture the imagination, diversity, and joy unique to music theatre by the production of new and classic works; to herald music theatre to young people as an art form that is relevant to their lives and to foster an understanding by them that it is indigenous to their cultural heritage.
The Media Theatre is the recipient of 72 Broadway World Awards for "Best of Philly Theatre" (2012-2016), 8 Barrymore Award nominations for Excellence in Theatre (one win), 20 Reader's Poll Awards as "Best Live Theatre" in Delaware County (from various media outlets), and has been honored by The Delaware County Council, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, The Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the US Congress.

4) OUR LIVES ARE AFFECTED BY THE SUBJECT MATTER OF 'NEXT TO NORMAL'
"Next To Normal" reaches beyond demographics of age and geography as its subject matter has, in some way, affected a large percentage of our population in varying degrees. We either deal with psychological disorders on our own, or we know someone who is dealing with them. The causes and effects are astronomical, and deserve discussion, which leads to understanding.

Take a look at the statistics:

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6 % of the U.S population age 18 and older in a given year. The median age of onset for bipolar disorders is 25 years. More than 2/3 of people with bipolar disorder have at least 1 close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression, indicating that the disease has a heritable component.

Schizophrenia- Approximately 2.4 million American adults, or about 1.1% of the population age 18 and older in a given year, have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency. Schizophrenia often first appears in men in their late teens or early twenties.

Anxiety Disorder- Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1% of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse. Most people with an anxiety disorder will have a first episode by age 21.5.

Panic Disorder- Approximately 6 million American Adults ages 18 and older, or about 2.7% of people in this age group in a given year, have panic disorder. Panic disorder typically develops in early adulthood (median age of onset 24), but the age of onset extends throughout adulthood. About one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia, a condition in which the individual becomes afraid of being in any place or situation where escape might be difficult or help unavailable in the event of a panic attack.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)- ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders in children and in adolescents. ADHD affects 4.1% of adults, ages 18-44, in a given year. ADHD usually becomes evident in pre-school or early elementary years. The median age of onset of ADHD is 7 years, although the disorder can persist into adolescence and occasionally into adulthood. 

5) THE PULITZER PRIZE

"Next To Normal" is one of only nine---yes, just nine---musicals over the years to win The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, since the award has been given in 1918.

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes awarded annually for Letters, Drama, and Music, recognizing a theatrical work staged in the U.S. during a calendar year.  

All of the musicals that have won the Pulitzer are "Of Thee I Sing" (1932), "South Pacific" (1950), "Fiorello!" (1960), "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1962), "A Chorus Line" (1976), "Sunday In The Park With George" (1985), "Rent" (1996), "Next To Normal" (2010), and "Hamilton" (2016). 

Do not miss "Next To Normal" at The Media Theatre. It is on our stage January 31 through February 25. Get tickets at mediatheatre.org, or call 610-891-0100. 

(It plays Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings each week, along with Saturday and Sunday matinees. The final two weeks there is an additional Tuesday evening performance)








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