Next to Normal’s premiere twitter performance of new song Something I can’t see


Next to Normal Twitter performance. Wednesday 28th October 2009, Tribeca NY.

Starting Just before 12am gmt or 7pm US time Next to Normal on Twitter released their new song “Something I can’t see” to a unique audience. The audience being the twitter users who helped write this latest addition to the musical.

In an intro video by creators Composer Tom Kitt and Lyricist Brian Yorkey welcomes tweeters to the event which was hosted live in Tribeca NY.

Next came a panel discussion

The panel consisted of Tom Kitt (composer), Michael Greif (director), David Stone (producer) and Brian Yorkey (Lyricist).

The panel talked about how the show was created and how it went from just being an idea in a BMI workshop to a tony award winning musical.

This discussion included playing a song called “Electricity” that was cut from the show. Other songs that were cut included ‘feeling electric’ whilst others were edited to suit the current show. All these original songs can be found here.(back then the show was called Feeling Electric)

There was also an explanation on how the new song “Something I can’t see” came to be written. During the process the twitter community voted on who should sing the song, where it would go in the show, what the motivations were and also the lyrics.

Moments later questions from twitter users were answered by the cast.

First Alice Ripley who plays the main part of Diana.

Question? “Jesse from twitter wants to know how my interpretation of Diana has changed since the beginning”?

Answer “Mmmm I would say that Diana and I have grown together in equal proportion. I think we have both become more aware of the big picture and also we have become maybe a bit crazier and maybe we both have a better sense of humour than we did a year ago”

Next up was Bobby Spencer who plays husband Dan.

Question? “I have a question here from Eric he wants to know how I cope with the incredibly overwhelming emotions throughout the show”?

Answer “Mmmm its a great question and I guess I never really think about it when I am doing the show. Dan just like comes organically it just comes with the job but when the show is done I get a little hot sockey for my throat because its pretty much an opera and its like when your in the gym working out with your muscles you like to take a hot bath, same when you sing a little hot sockey is good for the throat and other than that it’s just having fun throughout my day and laughing and being light hearted because an emotional show like this could tend to bring some people down but everyone in the cast is very very goofy, we are incredible goofballs. We all get along great and we are constantly laughing till they say places so thats how we cope with it by just being goofballs”.

Finally Jenn Damiano who plays 16 year old Natalie answered questions.

Question? “Brian Larson asked a question on twitter and he wants to know what the single hardest scene or song to perform is and why?”

Answer “Mmmm I would say the single hardest scene or song to perform is definitely “Super boy and the invisible girl”. Mmm only because there’s a lot of emotion and anger going on during the song its still you know really hard to sing so it just takes  a lot of balance and focus too because the worlds have so much weight on them and you don’t just want to through those phrases away because they seem so much and you still have to sign them pretty loud and really thoughtfully at the same time and its a challenge every night. But then the audience clap really loud after”.

Finally the show is closed by a thank you video message from Tom and Brian followed by a link to a short preview of the song.

The new song will be released soon as part of a podcast that is being created from last nights event. There are also plans for a future EP of songs that were cut from the show.

For now Next to Normal is still running in the Booth Theatre in New York.

Next to Normal

NEXT TO NORMAL             stars

Friday June 5 8pm

Booth Theatre 222 West 45 St. New York

Next to Normal - Arena Stage

Making its debut on Broadway Next to Normal brings light to the issue of mental health in society. Through the life of  wife and mother Diana (Alice Ripley) the audience gets a look inside the struggles of living with bipolar disease.

Alice Ripley who would three days later win a tony award brought brings the character alive with strong solos and emotional struggles. For 16 years she has been experimenting with contails of pills yet to find one that works. It is only after she starts making mass amounts of sandwiches on the floor that her husband  Dan (J.Robert Spencer)  decides it is time for her to go back to therapy.

As a caring husband Dan has been there for his wife since the beginning. He has stood by herself and he is the one that supports her. Throughout all the struggles he remains by her side and encourages her to accept reality while at the own time he is fighting is own demons.

Next to Normal also looks at the life of teenager Natalie (Jennifer Damiano). The daughter who feels neglected in the shadow of her dead brother. For her, freedom is just a sontata away as she throws herself into her studies and fights to be able to graduate early and escape the turmoil of her home life. Finding love for the first time she is reluctant to let her boyfriend Henry (Adam Chanler-Berat) making every excuse not to invite him home but in the end he is the support she needs to help her through.

In this performance  Kyle Dean Massey played the role of Gabe replacing Aaron Tveit who is on summer hiatus  . This may have been his first perfomrnance but the audience certainly were unaware of his naievity as he bellowed out the strong notes and played the part of the dead son. Fighting for his mother he  is determined not to let the pills destroy him as he battles to sway his mother and fight for his life.

To complete the cast Louis Hobson steps in in the role of Dr. Madden/ Dr. Fine. A self confessed rock star who is determined to find a solution to Diana’s problems. Trying the blue pills and the green pills and then the yellow pills he is not ready to give up and eventually suggests the controversial treatment of electroconvulsive therapy.

The musical is centred around the original soundtrack by composer Tom Kitt (13, Hair) and with songs such as “Superboy and the Invisible girl” and “I am the one” combines both pop and rock genres.

Set in a three story house the set provides a realistic setting for family life. Racing up and down the stairs the family make the most of the setting while providing the audience with action and variety.

Ending on a positive the play emphasizes the fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel and after years of sturrlge there will be light.

Still running at the Booth Theatre Next to Normal is a must see and tickets start at $110



After the show all cast members greeted fans outside the stage door of the theatre and discussed their excitement over the upcoming Tony awards. Unfortunately Jennifer Damiano (Natalie) was not present.


Interview with Aaron Tveit

Behind the scenes