A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of dropping by the rehearsal of LOT's latest show Next to Normal, which opens this weekend and runs through September. And now you can get a sneak peak too, in this recently released teaser.
In a far more airless and cramped studio, than the one in the teaser I had the pleasure of sweating it out with the cast of LOT's Next to Normal as they blocked one of the "monster passing scenes" as director Heather Braaten called it, from Next to Normal. And while is was only a few weeks into the rehearsal process it was clear this is a talented group.
As I watched, I was struck by how difficult the material is. The music is hard, the script is a challenge and the subject matter is sobering. But this group certainly have the vocals for it, it seems. And, despite my reservations about young actors and actresses, relating to roles about middle age and mental illness, I was struck by this groups connection to the work and one another. It was also clear that Braaten and Musical Director Paul Moody's hard work is going to pay off with this production.
There is a reason that Next to Normal swept the Tony's and is one of the best contemporary musicals. And it's fantastic to see the Lower Ossington Theatre bringing another great show to Toronto audiences. LOT is quickly becoming the best pre-professional company operating in Toronto right now, consistently producing challenging work, not just for local performers to grow but so audiences can experience these phenomenal works in an accessible way.