photo: Contributed

Kelowna Actors Studio brings Next To Normal, a musical to the stage

The show explores mental illness

Kelowna Actors Studio debuts their On The Edge series with Next to Normal, with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt at their new location The WorkRoom, 100-2600 Enterprise Way, Kelowna.

Next To Normal explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness.

Nominated for eleven Tony Awards and Winner of three, including Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, Next to Normal was also chosen as “one of the year’s ten best shows” by critics around the country.

Dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years.

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Next to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart.

With a powerhouse of talent that boasts some of the best talent in the Okanagan Valley, Next to Normal stars Laura Lebbon as Diana Goodman, Chad Abrahamson as Gabriel “Gabe” Goodman, Desmond Parenteau as Dan Goodman, Cassidy Hergott as Natalie Goodman, KAS Academy Student, Pete MacLeod as Henry, and Jordan Davies as Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden.

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Next to Normal is the ideal show to open our new WorkRoom theatre space and our ‘On The Edge’ Series”, a selection of critically acclaimed and ground breaking theatre with adult content best suited for mature audiences! It’s raw emotion, with a sincere and honest look at mental illness and how it can drive a family both apart and together. With an amazing energetic pop/rock score. Next to Normal is an emotional powerhouse that addresses such issues as grieving a loss, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life. I am so excited for our audiences to take this journey with us,” said artistic managing director, Randy Leslie in a press release.

Audience Advisory: Recommended for ages 14 and older. Mature language and adult situations. There is use of strobe lighting.

Show runs Wednesday to Sunday, Jan. 9 to 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a 1 p.m. Saturday matinee

As well as a Wednesday, Jan. 16, Special Tea Matinee at 11 a.m.

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