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COURTESY PHOTO - Left to right, Johnathan Swartout, Jennifer Yamashiro, and James Grimes will appear in Theatre in the Groves production of 'Next to Normal.' opening Friday.Theatre in the Grove is ready to jump into the New Year with its next production, “Next to Normal,” opening Friday, Jan. 13 and running through Jan. 29.


The winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, “Next to Normal,” is directed by Melanie Shaw.

“Next to Normal” stretches the boundaries of traditional musical theater by tackling the subject of mental illness.

Dad is an architect. Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal. Their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens. Appearing to be a typical American family, their lives are anything but normal.

The story centers on Diana, a suburban mother dealing with manic depression, and the effect her illness as well as her treatments have on her family. The story — about love and family, holding tight and letting go — is told with humor and unflinching honesty.

The New York Times said “Next to Normal” is “much more than a feel-good musical; it is a feel-everything musical.”

The show provides an opportunity for performers to explore dramatic material and showcase vocal talents with an energetic pop/rock score.

Theatre in the Grove favorites James Grimes, Jennifer Yamashiro and Alison Luey return to the stage, along with Jonathan Swartout, Ky Fife, and Luis Ventura.

The show plays Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with matinees at 2:30 p.m. Sundays.

For a complete listing of show times and to purchase tickets, visit www.theatreinthegrove.org or call 503-359-5349.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors (60 and over) and youths (17 and under). The box office is open on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m., and one hour before each performance at 2028 Pacific Ave.

“Next to Normal” contains mature themes and language. Parental discretion is advised.

After the opening night show Jan. 13, guest are invited to attend a reception hosted by Plum Hill Vineyards (wine available for purchase) and meet the cast, musicians and creative team.

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