Broadway musicals of decades past were often bright, shiny stories of love and triumph involving a few twists and turns that always ended with happy endings wrapped in big production numbers of song and dance. Over the years that formula was stretched and tested with more serious and even darker themes. Next to Normal was one such dark musical, debuting in 2009. Set to high-energy rock music, the musical explores mental illness, drug abuse, suicide and grief through the story of one family. It won three Tony Awards and received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama—only one of nine musicals to win in the award’s history. (Rent won in 1996 and Hamilton won in 2016, which gives an idea of the company Next to Normal is in.) Never to shy away from a challenge, Pacific Grove’s Paraphrase Productions is presenting the rock musical at the Paper Wing Theatre. Director and Paraphrase founder, Paul Davis, says they want to “give people a chance to have a cathartic experience. It’s a very heavy musical but it’s told in a beautiful way.” There are two talented casts switching off between performances featuring performers both seasoned and new. Both casts include professional Edie Flores, currently in the cast of the touring musical Evil Dead. Paper Wing is advertising Next to Normal with a “trigger warning,” for its dark themes, as well as a parental warning for content not suitable for children younger than 14. Paraphrase provides info on suicide prevention resources. Dark, yes, but Davis says in the end it’s about family, healing and self-love.[PM]


  • Starting Thursday, August 8th, 2019, repeats every week on Thursday until Thursday, August 22, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
  • Starting Friday, August 9th, 2019, repeats every week on Friday until Friday, August 23, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
  • Starting Saturday, August 10th, 2019, repeats every week on Saturday until Saturday, August 24, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
  • Starting Sunday, August 11th, 2019, repeats every week on Sunday until Sunday, August 25, 2019 @ 2:00 pm


Paper Wing Theatre

320 Hoffman St.
Monterey, CA 93940

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