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Next to Normal (Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, May 12, 2009
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Product Details

  • Composer: Tom Kitt
  • Audio CD (May 12, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Sh-K-Boom
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,030 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Prelude
2. Just Another Day
3. Everything Else
4. Who's Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I
5. Perfect for You
6. I Miss the Mountains
7. It's Gonna Be Good
8. He's Not Here
9. You Don't Know
10. I Am the One
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Wish I Were Here
2. Song of Forgetting
3. Hey #1
4. Seconds and Years
5. Better Than Before
6. Aftershocks
7. Hey #2
8. You Don't Know (Reprise)
9. How Could I Ever Forget?
10. It's Gonna Be Good (Reprise)
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Next to Normal has been described as a contemporary musical that explores how one suburban household copes with crisis. With provocative lyrics and an electrifying score of more than 30 original songs, Next to Normal shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family's world intact. Next to Normal recently received five Helen Hayes Award nominations for its Arena Stage engagement, including Outstanding Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Non-Resident Production (Alice Ripley), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Non-Resident Production (J.Robert Spencer), and Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Non-Resident Production (Aaron Tveit and Jennifer Damiano). For its sold-out Second Stage Theatre engagement, Next to Normal won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score and also received the following accolades: Lucille Lortel Award nominations for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Featured Actor (Aaron Tveit), and Outstanding Lighting Design (Kevin Adams); Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley) and Outstanding Music; Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley); and a Drama League nomination for Outstanding Musical, among others.

Customer Reviews

The music is amazing, the story, the characters, the lyrics... extraordinary.
It is truly one of the greatest musicals ever to have played Broadway -- and I have seen many of the best.
If you enjoyed the show, you'll be listening to this cd over and over and over again...
T. P. H. Houben

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Steven Valenti on May 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
"Next to Normal," with music by Tom Kitt and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, is the kind of cast recording I respond to immediately, in which the music is in perfect synch with the plot. The songs are not just "songs," but extensions of the characters--direct outpourings of their emotions. Musical fans know it's not just about a catchy melody or lyric--the music has to hook into your emotions in an almost intangible way. On the best cast recordings, you don't have to listen to an entire "song"--sometimes just a mere musical phrase or dramatic moment can tingle the spine. I suppose, in theory, good musicals should always do this, but the last time I felt a musical worked this well, particularly in a sung-through style, was "Caroline, or Change." There are no clunky moments here--just two discs of musical theater bliss.

Like "Caroline," "Next to Normal," features a nimble, varied score--here it ranges from pop, rock, to folk, even a waltz and a hilarious Rodgers and Hammerstein parody. It's hard to pin down the sound exactly-- which is one of the great pleasures of the recording. Another pleasure is the cast. The fantastic (and soon-to-be Tony winner) Alice Ripley is Diana, a suburban mom in the throes of bipolar disorder. She's well matched with J. Robert Spencer, affecting as her well meaning but hopelessly enabling husband. Jennifer Damiano and Aaron Tveit make strong impressions as the struggling teens rounding out the family, and Adam Chanler-Berat and Louis Hobson add fine support in smaller roles. Singing Yorkey's smart and perceptive lyrics, the cast gives full due to the weighty subject matter. This is certainly the best new Broadway score of the year, and a superb cast recording. Not to be missed.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By AJK on May 23, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Saw this musical last month in New York and was completely entertained. While the subject matter seems unusual for a musical, the cast was amazing & the score was a powerful force - and gets better and better with repeat listenings.

Starring Alice Ripley (Side Show, Rocky Horror Show) and J. Robert Spencer (Jersey Boys), the interplay of both delicate ballads and edgy rockers reflects the ever-changing moods of a household dealing with bipolar issues. Aaron Tveit (robbed of a Tony nomination) and Jennifer Damiano are also terrific.

Best tracks:

Just Another Day
I Miss The Mountains
You Don't Know
I Am The One
Superboy and the Invisible Girl
I'm Alive
I've Been
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Cubachik on May 25, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
This isn't your "feel good" musical - it's a "feel everything" musical, with no easy answers, but plenty of heart and a fine cast that brings to vivid life a story of a troubled family that has at its core a wife and mother (played by the glittering Alice Ripley) with bipolar disorder. It's very moving and surprisingly funny. I bought this CD two weeks ago at the Broadway show's intermission because I knew I would want to hear these songs again. Get the recording - see the show!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SamDGresham on July 6, 2009
Format: Audio CD
For the record, I have not seen NEXT TO NORMAL on Broadway, but if the physical production is as compelling as the cast album I am listening to now, I WILL be buying a ticket as soon as I am in the city this autumn.

With the aid of the detailed synopsis in the included lyric booklet, this album does an excellent job of telling the story of Diana Goodman's struggle with bipolar disorder, and its effect on her husband, son, and daughter. Just know: this is not a musical recording to be listened to as background music to accompany studying or other focus-stealing activities. You want to be invested in both the words and music. This recording improves with repeated listening, and never grows stale.

Many people who have seen the show have complained about Alice Ripley's 'weak' or 'pitchy' vocals. Listening to the album, she is neither of these things. Her TONY-awarded acting shines through on the album, and makes up for any vocal 'flaws' there may or may not be. J. Robert Spencer plays Diana's husband to a wonderfully tragic effect, with solos that will rip your heart out. Jennifer Damiano plays a Natalie almost every teenager can identify with: perfectly seemingly indifferent to her less than normal surroundings, seeking refuge in music and one trusted companion. Aaron Tveit is chilling as Gabe, Diana's troublesome son, and the source of her mental anguish. Adam Chanler-Berat (as Natalie's boyfriend) and Louis Hobson (as Diana's doctors) round out the impressively strong cast of six. Both actors flesh out their characters quite well on the album, though neither is given as much, musically, as the others to really stand out.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roman Holliday on May 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I knew nothing about Next to Normal except for the thrilling number presented on the Tonys broadcast. Not having seen the show I didn't want waste money without hearing the score but when I couldn't get any of my friends to buy the album I bit the bullet. I love Alice Ripley (from her amazing performance in "Side Show" and the duet albums with Emily Skinner") but I don't like rock scores. The music is completely appropriate to the contemporary story. The story, characters, situations become richer, deeper and more powerful with each listening. I had no idea that their son had died years before. That makes everything much more poignant. I can't wait for a production to come to San Francisco.
This album is far from depressing, it's exhilarating. Makes one glad to be alive!
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