diana goodman

Next to Normal/Dear Evan Hansen parallels
  • 17-year-old boy has a crush on a 16-year-old girl who plays an instrument
  • Said girl has a brother who dies
  • Brother’s death causes his father to become stoic and repressed and his mother to desperately grasp onto his memory and imagine a version of him who had a happy, fulfilling life
  • the mother can’t accept the reality of her son’s situation because she can’t handle the grief that comes with it
  • Girl is sick of her brother occupying every aspect of her family life and wants something to be about her for a change
  • she also doesn’t like how her parents deal with the problems surrounding her brother
  • she and the 17-year-old eventually start dating
  • long before this happens, the boy tries to kiss the girl at a bad time (if i could tell her/henry getting Stoned™)
  • it takes several weeks for one of them to let the other into their house
  • uses my favorite trope ever, which is when an event that is significant to the plot happens before the story actually starts and we don’t learn the details of it until much later because the main character either forgot about it or refuses to acknowledge that it happened
  • the dead character wants to be remembered
  • The main character attempts suicide but we don’t actually see them do it
  • suicide is a major theme in the story but it isn’t exactly the main focus
  • The main character takes meds to help with their mental illness but later decides to stop taking them
  • The dead character represents the main character’s mental illness
    • connor is the voice inside evan’s head and the source of his anxiety: “she’ll hate you. everyone will hate you. you’ll go right back to where you started. no friends, nobody, nothing, alone.”
    • gabe obviously represents diana’s bipolar disorder (i don’t think this requires an explanation)
    • both of them encourage the main character to make Bad Decisions
  • the dead character does drugs
    • “are you snorting coke?” “not at the moment”
    • “If I stop smoking drugs then everything might be alright”
  • Dysfunctional families
  • rebellious teens
  • someone feels invisible & there’s a whole song about it
  • characters who take drugs are either stoners or they take prescription drugs
  • directed by michael greif
  • small cast to make the story more intimate
  • had pre-broadway productions at arena stage in DC and second stage
  • asa somers was in it at one point
  • “catch me i’m falling”/evan fell out of a tree and no one came to get him
  • costumes seem simple and casual but they actually have a fuckton of symbolism
    • the dead character dresses similarly to whoever’s life he’s fucking with (evan and connor wearing matching sweatshirts, gabe wearing a shirt that’s the same color as whoever he’s trying to communicate with)
  • light & you will be found are really similar
    • has a lot of metaphors surrounding darkness and light, in which darkness represents depression and light is what pushes people to continue living
    • starts off with one person singing & encouraging others to have hope, then the entire cast gradually joins in
    • “out of the shadows, the morning is breaking… it’s filling up the empty and suddenly i see that all is new”/ “the wasted world we thought we knew, the light will make it look brand new”
    • “you will be found”/ “there will be light”
    • ultimately the message is to keep going, it gets better
  • has characters who outwardly look like they have their life together but are actually Suffering™ (dan, alana, jared) and mentally ill characters who do not at all look like they have their life together (diana, evan, natalie)
  • painfully relatable
  • obc member named jennifer
  • someone from pitch perfect was in it at some point (ben platt is self-explanatory; skylar astin was in a workshop as henry in 2007)
  • a music box is used for symbolism in next to normal. dear evan hansen is in the music box theater. coincidence? i think not
    • no but seriously if n2n ever gets revived it needs to be in the music box theater because puns
  • Imagine the DEH cast in next to normal
    • ben platt as henry, mike faist as gabe, laura dreyfuss or kristolyn lloyd as natalie, michael park as dan, jennifer laura thompson or rachel bay jones as diana
  • weather metaphors (cloudy skies in n2n, sunlight in deh)
  • teen girl says fuck at a family meal, gets scolded by a parent, and talks back
    • Zoe: fuck you 
    • Cynthia: I don’t need you picking at your brother right now, that is not constructive
    • Zoe: are you kidding
    • Natalie: this is fucked
    • Dan: language
    • Natalie: Fuck this
  • one can empathize with all the characters but would also probably fight a lot of them if they had the chance
  • “everything else goes away”/ “the rest of the world falls away”
  • won tony awards for best score and orchestrations

There’s probably a lot more so feel free to add on if I forgot anything. 

okay one of my favorite parts of next to normal is in the song I am the one Dan says “how could something go wrong that I can’t see?” referring to Diana’s relapse and I love that they portrayed how people who don’t have these mental illnesses don’t understand how it’s not always obvious and you go through the show knowing kinda what’s going through these character’s heads and when he says this you facepalm but that’s how it is in real life because people can’t really tell when someone is struggling with their mental illness unless they specifically ask for help and it’s not easy to ask for help and ugh i just love how the show portrays this with just one line and it’s one of the most important lines in that song to me dfcgvhbjncxvbn i just love next to normal so fucking much


Aaron Tveit, Alice Ripley, J. Robert Spencer -
You Don’t Know / I Am The One (Next to Normal)

Tony Awards Performance 2009


Superboy and the Invisible Girl - Next to Normal

Aaron Tveit (Gabe)/ Jennifer Damiano (Natalie) / Alice Ripley (Diana)


Blessing your feed with this video of Kyle Dean Massey performing I’m Alive because it’s actually my favorite thing on the planet.


In honor of Next To Normal’s Opening Anniversary 8 years ago today…

I give you “You Don’t Know/I Am The One” from the Tony awards…


Playhouse FL - 14 Days |

Straz Center FL - 15 Days |

House of Blues San Diego CA - 28 Days |

Belasco Theatre CA -29 Days |