Rave Reviews for RTC’s Opening Night performance of Next to Normal
Uptown! Entertainment Alliance member and advocate, Rob Telthorster, attended the opening night performance of Next to Normal and gathered unsolicited comments from other patrons during intermission and after-show gatherings. He was kind enough to wrap them up in a nice narrative that might appear to come from just one reviewer. In fact, it is a combination of a few of his own remarks peppered among those from his friends, acquaintances and total strangers.
See the show yourself and add your comments. We know you will agree.
The show is already Barrymore Recommended, which means Philadelphia critics saw the show and left with similar reactions. Here you go:
A must-see performance; it would be a shame to miss this.
The Uptown! Knauer Theater is a fabulous place to see this type of program. The atmosphere is personal (~300 seats), the sound quality is superior, the staging is ample for the creative process, and you are simply drawn into the performance. As a bonus, the fabulous bar serves snacks, wine and beer. Hard to see how it can get much better than this in any town. And here we are, in West Chester, PA.
The Resident Theatre Company’s Next to Normal is simply stunning. The actors very much “get” their parts, and they are played with emotion that is both subtle and gripping at the same time. You could say spellbinding. This story was something I knew very little about, but I was blown away by every aspect: the actors, the music, the theater. Bravo RTC!
The theatre’s staging was simple but very creative; it allowed movement in a 3-D sort of way that added a wonderful dimension to the show. Very clever. Live music from the “pit” is brilliant, yet the six musicians are nestled off-stage and out of sight, playing a variety of instruments in perfect harmony with voices. The cast’s attention to dynamics, softness and sometimes rocked-out emphasis, did not diminish the clarity of the lyrics and had a dramatic impact on the messages.
I was lucky to hear Act 1 of Next to Normal in May of 2015, when Director, Kristin McLaughlin Mitchell, brought her talent to town. It was an introduction to us all, and probably the best way to express the truth of her mission; bringing NYC style theater productions to West Chester. Having now seen the opening night’s full production of Next to Normal, we couldn’t be happier about how great this is for West Chester.
First, RTC presented the incredible Spamalot that opened Uptown’s new theater. That production sold out 10 of 11 shows. And, now here’s Next to Normal, being equally as brilliant and entertaining, even though thoroughly different. This truly is high quality theater. I feel as if I’m in New York City.
I didn’t expect to see something so beautifully done.