VIDEO: Broadway tackles mental health with ‘Next to Normal.’ Selma’s co-director and a psychologist talk about why it’s important.

‘Next to Normal” combines two ingredients that you might not think would ever go together: rock-scored musical theater and bipolar disorder.

Can you really sing about mental health?

You can. And you can do it beautifully. Thanks to composer Tom Kitt’s music and Brian Yorkey’s sophisticated lyrics, The music becomes the water as the audience makes an emotional deep dive.

The show’s creative team and cast worked closely with Nancy Doi, a clinical psychologist, as mental health consultant. I interviewed her and co-director Laramie Dawn Woolsey about why “Next to Normal” is such a groundbreaking experience. Enjoy our conversation!

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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