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What is Normal?

What is Normal?

Summer after summer director Mark Steighner has been surprising and delighting our audiences at the Columbia Art Center with his spectacular musicals. This year will be no different with his production of Next to Normal (July 10-25), a musical that explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness.

We asked Mark why he chose this particular play. “Next to Normal appeared at a time when the world of Broadway musicals was dominated by revivals and spin-offs of preexisting content,” says Mark. “It was (and is) original in terms of story and subject matter.”

Director Mark Steighner continues to delight and challenge audiences with his summer musicals.
Director Mark Steighner continues to delight and challenge audiences with his summer musicals.

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and three 2009 TONY Awards (including Best Musical Score), Next to Normal was the I was also chosen as one of the year’s ten best shows by critics around the country, including The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington PostRolling Stone, and The New York Times. The book and lyrics are by Brian Yorkey with music by Tom Kitt.

The story goes something like this: 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 Mom has been battling bipolar disorder for 16 years. Next To Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart.

“It is human scale and intimate, and reminds us that every family has challenges that are not very far beneath the veneer of ‘normal’ appearances,” adds Mark. “It is a sad story that is full of humor and compassion.”

Next to Normal

July 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24, & 25 at 7:30pm

July 19 at 2pm

Tickets: $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors 62+, and $12 for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available online, at Waucoma Bookstore, and in the Gallery at Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave in downtown Hood River.