If you missed Theatre in the Park's production of Next to Normal, a hit musical about mental illness (yes, that's right), you have a second chance with this version from Deep Dish. Dealing with a family in which the mother has kept her bipolar disorder under control with medication but finds she misses the highs and lows she used to experience ("I Miss the Mountains," she sings), Next to Normal is a familiar tale of growing up and dysfunction with a not-very-typical mother. It's been a surprise hit in New York and with touring and local productions.
Deep Dish features a variety of post-show tie-in events with its staging of the play, including a panel of individuals impacted by mental illness on March 3, a gathering with the cast, dramaturg and director on March 10, another with the designers on March 14 and an event with Dr. John Gilmore on March 17. In addition, there's a "Meet the Play" pre-show talk with Lisa Keaton on March 8 at 7 p.m., and a Deep Dish Book Club Selection, Minrose Gwin's Wishing for Snow, at Flyleaf Books on March 11 at 7 p.m. The play itself runs Wednesdays–Sundays through March 17 at the theater's main space in University Mall, then at Cary Arts Center March 22-24. —Zack Smith