Next to Normal – MTC – Day 16

It was blissful weather in Melbourne today.  I don’t know if research has ever been done on the effect great weather has on mood and productivity (surely?) but I strode purposefully into MTC with my week’s playlist going (Hang With Me/Hello/Dancing On My Own/Fading), ready to get at the last third of Act Two.

I’d left “Why Stay/The Promise” a little dismal yesterday, so got it straight on it’s feet decisively.  This morning it was energised with lots of interesting physical choices.  Really, focusing on the clarity of what each character was saying and their POV at any given moment shaped the scene.  (My cliche saying for Next to Normal has become “that’s a good first shape”).  We clearly tracked where Diana was in this scene – that after the catharsis of “How Could I Ever Forget” each song becomes a step in the eventual decision she makes (I’m trying to be a little ambiguous here, for any readers who want to be surprised by the plot of the musical).  Knowing what decision she’d made about her marriage by the end of this, and how it was a direct contrast to her daughter and Henry upstairs, helped a lot.  Moved on through “The Break” and a very moving “Maybe” before lunch.

Lunch was Production Meeting 3.  All departments happy and clear about where they are.  The safety boards are coming down tomorrow at lunch, and we can use the upper level unencumbered.  This will be conducted as a weaning process, however, in that the afternoon will be devoted to carefully working both levels, understanding where everyone is at any given point.  The biggest discussion at the meeting was what the bottom of the cyc looks like.

We worked through “Hey 3” “So Anyway” and finally “I Am the One (rep)” after lunch.  The latter was so simply done and made me cry.  Something about Matt and Gareth’s voices blending in that context I find unbearably moving.  Left Gareth with the physio to look through his moves for safety and headed back out into that glorious weather.

Published by bryantandfrank

Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank make musicals. And other things.

One thought on “Next to Normal – MTC – Day 16

  1. Next to Normal was one of the absolute highlights of my trip to New York last year, so your production at MTC has a lot to live up to. But I can’t think of anyone better suited to directing this show. Thanks for your detailed blogging about the production – each entry is making me more and more excited to see the show in Melbourne with a local cast.

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