Join Host Robert Hammond (full program below) as he examines how religion influences musical theatre. The Book of Mormon is one of Broadway’s biggest box-office hits – recently there have been revivals of Christian-themed musicals — Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. The revival of the revival of the revival (well, you get the picture!) of Les Miserables is still open on the Great White Way! The current revival closes in September. Among others, Fiddler on the Roof and Spring Awakening are steeped with religious undertones. It’s probably fair to say that the theater has seen the way of the Lord. Has someone been putting sacrament in the water? Or have playwrights just gotten in touch with their devout or devoutly satirical sides?
Rarely do I leave a musical or straight play in utter disdain. In my view, there’s nearly always at least one positive take away. Keeping that in mind, there are three musicals that continually affect me personally and professionally. They’re stand outs—above the fray. I’m drawn to the soundtracks regularly. Hearing a single note from a song can instantly take me on a journey … some are delightful … some are dreadful. That is what theatre is all about, and sometimes f’uped IS next to normal. The suspense is over: A Chorus Line, RENT, and Spring Awakening. I add a fourth: Next to Normal.
I didn’t see Next to Normal on Broadway. It doesn’t matter! If I could turn back time (call me Cher!) and the production now on stage at Geva Theatre Center was magically transplanted to the Booth Theatre in April 2009, I suspect it would receive the same accolades and awards.
Next to Normal, on stage at Geva Theatre Center through February 10th, is a triumph! Don’t miss this groundbreaking, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. Congratulations to Geva; Scott Schwartz, director; and the entire, amazingly gifted cast and crew. Information about the show and its cast and crew is available at gevatheatre.org. My full interview with Scott Schwartz (director) is available below.
Click above to hear Robert’s full interview (including music) with Scott Schwartz