Monday, September 6, 2010

Ved Siden av Normal: n2n in Norway

My favorite show keeps making the news in such good ways.  next to normal has now gone international with its first post-Broadway production in Norway!  An unlikely place, I guess, for an unlikely event - especially to all those naysayers in the first place.

Anyway, here, courtesy of Playbill Online, are some production photos of Next to Normal: et musikalen, as well as two clips from a concert version done earlier.  YouTube also had a clip of the Norwegian Gabe recording "I'm Alive."  It is cool to hear the familiar music in an unfamiliar language, and to hear an audience laugh at the same things!  It is also interesting to see a new design take on the show, with some familiar elements, and some brand new.

It is most gratifying, as a fan, to see that the power and beauty of the show translates and transcends any language and/or cultural barriers.

"Just Another Day"

"I'm Alive"

"I Miss the Mountains"

The cast includes Heidi Gjermundsen Broch as Diana, Jon Bleiklie Devik as Dan, Frank Kjosås as Gabe, Charlotte Frogner as Natalie, Thomas Bye as Henry and Lasse Kolsrud as Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden.  The production opened September 3 at Oslo's Det Norske Teatret and plays through December 22.

The production photos below are by Fredrik Arff.

Heidi Gjermundsen Bloch

Jon Bleiklie Devik and Charlotte Frogner

Thomas Bye and Lasse Kolsrud

Frank Kjosas w/ Bloch and Devik

Dr. Madden is a "Scary Rock Star" in any language!

"Hey/Perfect for You"

The Norwegian Company of Next to Normal: et musikalen

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  1. I'm so glad you posted about this. I saw this mentioned on Broadwayworld and checked out some of those links- very cool. I love that N2N is continuing to live and to matter, not just here, but elsewhere in the world.
    I did see N2N on Saturday. I was in the mezzanine, all the way to the left side, but my view was fine. Partly because no one was in front of me. The mezzanine wasn't even half full, which saddened me. I couldn't tell how full orchestra was. Still, the audience was enthusiastic, and that made a difference.
    My main concern was that Marin and Jason's voices weren't ideal for the score. And though there were a few points at which I missed that rock voice/belt, for the great vast majority of the time, I thought they sang the score beautifully without it sounding "off" to my ears. What I had read was that Marin gives a more controlled performance and that she comes off more as depressed that manic depressed. I would agree with both those assessments. I did miss those "dizzy heights" a bit. But it was a wonderful, incredibly emotional performance, from both of them. Though my view was fine, I wished I were closer to the stage. I usually perfer that, and in this show especially, I think it makes a difference (on the other hand, seeing it at TDF prices was very nice). As for Meghann, I didn't find her performance all that different from Jennifer's. A little less angry, maybe. She was very good, but if given a choice, I'd stick with Jennifer. I admit though that part of my feelings for the original cast is simply because I saw them first. My reaction to first seeing N2N, that initial connection, was so strong, so visceral, and the original cast's faces/voices are part of that.
    On the plus side, the stage door wasn't crazy, so I got to speak to Jason and Marin for a minute. I hadn't gotten all my words back yet (that took a few hours and some outstanding mac and cheese), but I managed to be fairly coherent, I think. They were both very gracious. I definitely felt like they know and appreciate how important N2N is for so many people.
    As for the rest of the weekend, guess who was the *1* person out of Wicked on Sunday afternoon? The understudy was fine, but I was disappointed. But, I will say that my partial view orchestra seat had a 99% fine view- and the other 1% didn't matter to the show at all. This is a great way to see Wicked for (a lot) less. That cushioned the Mandy-was-missing blow.
    Then there was the Addams Family. Full cast in, and they were great. I wish the show were half as good as they are. I know you really liked it. And while it wasn't the *worst* thing I've ever seen, it really could have/should have been so much better. If the lyrics could have been half as clever as the puppetry...
    However, the weekend ended last night on a very high note. For the 1st time with any show, I got to see Heights on the house! I had no idea where I'd be sitting, but the house manager put me in the 7th row, pretty center. I couldn't have asked for more. But then who sits down next to me? Andrea Burns' very adorable son and her husband. Last night was her first show back and that was the main reason I wanted to be there last night. And Jordin was out and Courtney Reed went on for her, and she was fabulous. I'd been wanting to see her go on in that role (I saw her go on for Vanessa in July, which was fantastic too). So I was not at all disappointed. It was pretty perfect.

  2. Hey Londyn!

    Thanks so much for the full update! I understand exactly how you feel about n2n after seeing the original cast (even though I don't agree!). Sometimes I get attached like that, myself. I wonder if you'd feel the same about Marin being "under control" if you could see her fussiness up close... a lot of what she does is very "close in", which I could see from the front row, and you probably missed being in the mezz.

    And you are so right about both - gracious to a fault!

    I am seeing Wicked on a Sunday matinee - I hope La Gonzalez isn't one of those "I never do a matinee" types. She is the reason I want to see it again.

    And speaking of GREEN! I am so jealous about your ITH experience!

    Stay in touch!

  3. Hi Jeff,
    The next time I see N2N, I will try to sit much closer up, which is my general preference anyway. The downside of TDF is not having any control over where you'll be sitting.
    I don't think Mandy Gonzalez frequently misses matinees- I haven't heard that. I think I was just unlucky. I hope she'll be in when you see it and that you'll give us your thoughts on her performance.


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