Nanaimo’s own Harbour City Theatre is prepping to show the award-winning musical Next to Normal. Local company Schmooze Productions takes the helm on the emotional story of a family dealing with mental illness.

Having won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a Tony Award for Best Score, the play dives into the story of Diana Goodman, a suburban mother who deals with her steadily worsening bipolar disorder. This impacts her two children and husband as they all try and cling to normalcy while trying to support Diana.

Artistic Director Dean Chadwick. Photo courtesy Schmooze Productions

Artistic Director Dean Chadwick. Photo courtesy Schmooze Productions

Schmooze Productions is already seasoned in high-end Broadway musicals, having performed RENT last season. The same creative team is now working this season’s show, including Artistic Director Dean Chadwick and actor Padraig Hogan who plays the elusive son Gabe. Schmooze also welcomes newcomer Ashton Smith to the stage as practitioner Dr. Madden, who works with Diana on her mental health.

“I wanted to do another powerful and relevant musical following the success of RENT from last season,” says Chadwick in a press release. “I am particularly interested in narrative-driven pieces, and Next to Normal seemed to be a logical choice. After viewing a clip from the Tony Awards of the Broadway cast, I thought it was just the most incredible, moving, witty piece, with a rock-n-roll score underpinning the whole thing. This show is for all generations and I’m excited to be bringing it to Nanaimo audiences.”

The musical has garnered praise from all over, including Rolling Stones Magazine heralding it as the rebirth of Broadway musicals, and Washington Post hailing it as “an astonishing feat!”

The show will run at Harbour City Theatre every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and matinee Sundays from November 12 – December 5, 2015. The shows run at 8 p.m., and matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.