‘Valium Is My Favorite Color’

The TV Guide

Last night was a night off from Nine Inch Nails shows so I managed to get a ticket to see the musical Next to Normal at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. After it won a few big Tonys at the 2009 Tony Awards (Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations) it caught my attention and got on my list of shows to see. Broadway shows are traditionally dark on Mondays but Next to Normal is not your traditional show:


I’m hesitant to give away anything in my review of the show because I believe the show packs a better punch if you see it cold. I literally gasped out loud at least twice. Suffice to say, I loved the show. Honestly, tho, the first couple of songs worried me … it didn’t grab me initially and I feared it might turn out to be a stinker. But then, well — read on after the jump if you’re intrigued but IF YOU PLAN TO SEE THIS SHOW see it cold, trust me …

Okay, so after about 15-20 mins. in a surprise twist is revealed and, I swear, you’re hooked. The show is about a woman’s bout with mental illness and the effects it has on her family … it’s a very inventive show that is well acted and superbly staged — directed by the director of Rent:


I love how the writers of the show thought it’d be cool to make a show about bipolar/schizophrenia … and then it becomes a huge hit! The show is, as I mentioned, not your traditional fare … but it’s really fantastic. I’d be very curious to hear from those of you who have seen the show already. Lead player Alice Ripley is amazing in this role. Last night was a great night of musical theater for me.

Tonight, I get back into the NIN fray … the first of 2 shows at Terminal 5 take place tonight … considering the epic nature of last Sunday’s show at Webster Hall, I can’t help but wonder what’s in store for tonight … and for the remaining NIN shows.

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  1. T.J.

    I’m a New Yorker, and see every show on Broadway. Easily one of the most moving experiences I’ve had in the theater, as well as funny, sincere, buoyant, and completely from the heart. Alice Ripley is a force of nature.

  2. Lauren

    This show is an amazing piece of theatre that everyone should experience. I was fortunate enough to not only see this show during its Broadway run, but also during its Off-Broadway run at the Second Stage theater. It is a roller coaster ride of a show. It is definitely not your typical feel good musical, but even though its serious subject matter, it somehow leaves you feeling uplifted when you leave the theater. I have not seen the new actor who is playing Gabe. I am interested in your opinion of him, as I was a huge Aaron Tveit fan.

  3. Jason

    While I haven’t technically “seen” this show, I’ve SEEN this show numerous times and it’s amazing. Great performances, great songs, great story….see it again for me Trent!

  4. Lauren

    Thanks Trent. I’ll have to see if I can make it back before Aaron returns. Supposedly he is supposed to come back in early September, but I am not sure if that is still true or not. It’s always interesting to seee another actors take on the role.

  5. spf

    I’m so glad that you liked this show, and it seems to be building up a following. The music is so incredible, and I too am an AT fan – planning to see it again when he is back in the fall.

  6. Michelle (in the UK)

    I am SO jealous!
    I live in London at the moment and if I could hop on a plane I would. I bought this soundtrack a few weeks ago after seeing the clip on the Tony’s.

    btw, if you are NYC after September you MUST MUST go see Laura Michelle Kelly as Mary Poppins. She won an Olivier for her role here, played Gladriel in the LOTR musical here and was in Sweeney Todd (his original wife). She is super incredible and talented. it’s a must!

  7. I had the pleasure of watching this cast rehearse when I worked at The Tony Awards this year. They were jaw droppingly amazing. I also got to meet the creator of the show – a true honor. This show is a theater GEM. What a gift for theatergoers to be able to see such a thought provoking piece in the Broadway age of Disney.

  8. Jennifer

    I rushed for this show on Monday and for $25 I sat in the first row and was completely blown away. I had refrained from reading too much or listening to the cast recording so that I wouldn’t ruin it for myself. It is easily the most moving piece of theatre I have seen in quite some time. Alice Ripley is a special talent and I am blessed to have had the chance to see this play. I am seeing Hair again for a second time this afternoon. Wish I had time to see Next to Normal again!

  9. Kayla

    I have to see this show! A friend of mine from high school plays Henry in it and he’s absolutely amazing! I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, I’m so glad you liked it :-)

  10. the mad dancer

    Michelle (in the UK), do you know how long LMK’s contract will be for Poppins in the US???

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