Musical probes taboo issue

NANAIMO - Schmooze productions presents Next to Normal at the Harbour City Theatre.

Jennifer Kelly

The rock musical Next to Normal examines a mother struggling with mental illness.

It examines the life of a suburban family and the issues family members deal with while trying to support a person they love.

The subject matter is intense and emotional, but with a pop-rock music score pumping into the stage from the background. The story hits people with a classical-metal edginess that examines the issue in a fresh new way.

It’s one of the facets of the play that attracted Dean Chadwick, artistic director of Schmooze Productions, to the piece.

Schmooze tries to examine controversial or taboo ideas in its work, such as last season’s production of Rent, that examined drug addiction, AIDS and homosexual relationships.

“It’s an honest look at a family and the effects of mental illness,” said Chadwick. “You have this ordinary family and the extraordinary effects happening to them. It’s a real-life family living through an incredible circumstance.”

The play “paints an authentic and thought-provoking picture” of mental illness, said Chadwick in a press release.

The rock music varies from classical ballets to hyped-up beats that have a metal sound depending on what is happening on stage. For example, if a character is having an anxiety attack, the music mirrors that with a hectic beat.

“The music drives the show. It grabs the audience but also grabs the actors…” said Chadwick. “The show can’t be described in words. You have to see it and enjoy it.”

Chadwick co-directs the play with Lisa Kerr and plays the character of Dan.

Next to Normal premiers Thursday (Nov. 12) at 8 p.m at Harbour City Theatre, located at 25 Victoria Rd.

Other showtimes include Nov. 13-14, Nov. 19-21, Nov. 26-28, Dec. 3-5 at 8 p.m. Matinees are Nov. 15, 22, and 29 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $29 and are available at Catwalk Fashions or online at www.schmoozeproductions.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

City to re-name community policing office and keep it open

Council votes 6-2 for city to maintain a presence at Victoria Crescent office

Nanaimo RCMP seek help finding missing Nanaimo boy

Chaas Mearns, 13, was reported missing Jan. 30

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2

Nanaimo now leads the best-of-seven series against Oceanside two games to none

Indigenous elders share history with Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District students

‘Our kids learning their history through elders is nothing that we can find in our textbooks’

UPDATE: One driver taken to hospital after three-vehicle collision in Harewood

Accident happened at Howard Avenue and Seventh Street at about 9:30 a.m.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Most Read