Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011

Next To Normal Beyond The Stage

The Milwaukee Rep’s New Show Sponsored By Rogers Memorial

By Russ Bickerstaff
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The Milwaukee Rep stages an acclaimed musical that opens this week. Hardly the traditional glossy mindlessness that finds its home on Broadway, Next To Normal follows the life of a suburban family dealing with mental illness. Covering some pretty serious ground, the drama is being sponsored by Rogers Memorial Hospital.

 The Non-Profit Psychiatric hospital acted as a resource for the cast in preparation for the production, which tells the story of a mother dealing with gradually worsening bipolar disorder. Rogers Memorial is also providing Doctors for a few post-show talkbacks dispersed throughout the run of the show. Even fro those who might not come into direct contact with this sort of mental disorder, those particular post-show doctor’s talkbacks could make for an interesting added dimension to an already fascinating musical theatre outing. A family deals with mental illness onstage in a rock musical format and then a doctor experienced in dealing with this sort of situation answeres questions about it . . . kind of an extra dimension to things that could provide a truly unique theatrical experience.

As far as things have come in the past 100 years, there’s still a stigma attached to mental illness. Programs like this work to demystify it . . . reaching into the very human elements behind mental illness

The Milwaueke Rep’s production of Next To Normal runs December 6th – January 15th.  

Post-Show Doctor’s talkback performances of the musical directly after the 6:30 p.m. performance on Tuesday, December 13 with Dr. Peter M. Lake as well as after 7:30 performances Tuesday, December 20 (Dr. Jerry Halverson), December 27 (Dr. Kambiz Pahlavan) and January 3 (Dr. Bradley Smith.)

For advanced ticket reservations, call 414-224-9490. 

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