Sunday, August 7, 2016

How Tony's readers can finally get laid: Bring your date to see Next to Normal, at Crown Center's Musical Theater Heritage, part 2

Most movies and most live theater suck.  The scripts and productions just never get you to the emotional arc that is the whole point.  Same with sports or games or even relationships and families.  If it's not close, if there is no drama, no moment that opens your heart, then you've just wasted another day of your life.

Which is why I recommend you pay $17 and go see Next to Normal.  (read previous post for details.)

Now I've been to lots and lots of live theatre.  I saw 13 plays in 10 days of KC Fringe Festival.  And I see at least one movie per week.   At Glenwood Arts, or the National Theatre Live events at Tivoli--God bless Jerry Harrington for booking those.

Been to Broadway many times.  And when I went to London, I saw 9 plays in 7 days, besides sightseeing etc.  Saw Cate Blanchett.

But until I saw operatic tenor Ben Gulley play the husband opposite Ashley Pankow in Next to Normal, I've never seen an actor actually cry real tears.
Operatic tenor Ben Gulley made me cry.  You will too.
MTH imports the best singer/actors in the country.  Ben Gulley performs nationally, and is half of the tenor duo Gulley/Granner.  {As in the equally sensationally talented, heart-rending Nathan Granner, a KC home boy who, FYI, used to be a regular on Mike Murphy's radio program, and who sang at Cathy Murphy's funeral.  He's not in this show.}

So I've seen good and great singers.  But never one who when he was done singing about his mentally ill wife leaving him, went back to his seat, pulled out his hankie and continued to weep.

THAT is drama.  THAT is the power of a Pulitzer-winning script.    THAT is why you should take your date to Musical Theater Heritage.  

If you can't get laid after that, well, there might not be hope for your relationship.
In which case, maybe bring your shrink.  They need to see this musical about therapy too.

One more thing:
To those who ask, "Why do I want to see a musical about a bi-polar Mom and her dead son and dysfunctional family? And whether or not to get ECT, shock therapy????" Well, leave it to George Harter, in his theatrical travelogue, to remind you that from Shakespeare right up to Sweeney Todd, MOST great musical theater surrounds a rather dark story.  That's the whole point.  What's it gonna take to pry open your heart?

There are many light moments as well.  One of the songs is Who's Crazy//My Psychopharmacologist and I.  They list off drugs, from A/Adderal to Z/Zoloft, and with a nod to The Sound of Music, sing, "These are a few of my favorite PILLS!"

This is not a show for kids.  But it's fine to bring your friends, including the 5 1/2% of all Americans who suffer from bi-polar disorder.  Who knew?

Musical Theater Heritage
This show ends Aug. 21.
Bring kleenex.
And get there early.
The night I went, I got the last homemade giant $3 brownie.  Just sayin...

And don't forget to grab tix to Cabaret in November, as it should sell out.  Once again, Nazis in Germany--killing Jews and gays--another dark story and another incredible musical play.

Note, for more info, log onto and

Tracy Thomas


  1. Does that perennial poster on Tony's site know about this post?

  2. ? If you mean me, yes, since I wrote it and then Tony linked to it. I have two blogs. and

    If you mean one of the mean boys, well, they are legion and I am too busy making a difference to worry about them.


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