Next To Normal (Booth Theatre)

Run date: March 27, 2009 – June 6, 2009
Run date: September 7, 2009 – January 3, 2010
Theater: Booth Theatre (New York, NY)

Cast: Alice Ripley (Diana Goodman), J. Robert Spencer (Dan Goodman), Jennifer Damiano (Natalie Goodman), Aaron Tveit (Gabriel “Gabe” Goodman), Adam Chanler-Berat (Henry), Louis Hobson (Doctor Fine/Doctor Madden)

Libretti by: Brian Yorkey
Lyrics by: Brian Yorkey
Music by: Tom Kitt

Directed by: Michael Greif
Choreographed by: Sergio Trujillo

This contemporary musical explores how one suburban household copes with crisis. With provocative lyrics and an electrifying score of more than 30 original songs, Next to Normal shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact.

An asterisk (*) denotes a song featuring Aaron.


“With his striking voice and confidence, Tveit radiates star quality.”

“Aaron Tveit, in a winning performance, makes you understand why Diana is reluctant to let her son go.”

“As the teenage son who is both angel and demon to his mother, Mr. Tveit is contrastingly (and necessarily) as charismatic and ineffable as a figure in a dream, the kind who seems to have the solution to everything until you wake up.”

“Damiano has little to play but variations on Winona Ryder-esque whine-angst, but Chanler-Berat and Tveit (the latter singing the evening’s most thrilling number, ‘I’m Alive’) give terrific turns in roles that could too easily lapse into the respective clichés of the nobody who makes good and the Golden Boy who makes nothing.”

“Tveit’s character has gained in texture since Second Stage, adding shades of ambiguity that rescue Gabe from angelic blandness or cookie-cutter youthful recklessness. Often lurking in the shadows, he’s a bewitching, almost destructive force, a benevolent pusher who keeps Diana hooked on dangerous memories while conspiring in her most questionable decisions.”

“So crucially, the extraordinary Aaron Tveit is once again playing the musical’s metaphysical fly in the ointment, the golden child who stirs up nothing so much as anguish.”



• Aaron took a few months off of the Broadway production of Next To Normal to star in the 5th Avenue Theatre world premiere of Catch Me If You Can. He called this “Summer Camp.” Kyle Dean Massey was his understudy as Gabe Goodman in the interim.

• Next To Normal was only the eighth musical to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Coincidentally, the previous winner had been Rent, both of which had been directed by Michael Greif. On describing Next To Normal‘s honor, the Pulitzer board said it’s “a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals.”

• Along with the Pulitzer, Next To Normal also received Tony nominations and awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score (won), Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (won), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Orchestrations (won), Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, and Best Sound Design.

• Of the Goodman family, only Aaron Tveit wasn’t nominated for a Tony. He has stressed how disappointing this was for him in numerous interviews, but how proud he was of the production as a whole regardless.

• During Act I, Gabe reads a paperback copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger’s novel about grieving a loss is ironically read by the character who is the loss. In Catcher, Holden struggles with the loss of a brother, Allie, who died of leukemia.

• Much to the dismay of many fans, Aaron had to miss many stage door appearances, as he was shooting “Gossip Girl” during his Next To Normal run and required additional rest.