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CommonHealth: 'Next To Normal' On The Complexities Of Life With Mental Illness10:59
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A scene from the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of Next to Normal, running March 9 – April 15 at the Boston Center for the Arts. (Saglio Photography Inc.)
A scene from the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of Next to Normal, running March 9 – April 15 at the Boston Center for the Arts. (Saglio Photography Inc.)

No one who has ever suffered from or lived with mental illness would call it a laughing matter. But sometimes laughing or singing about it is the best way to understand it.

A Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play, "Next To Normal" is a pop-rock musical that takes audiences inside the life of a family dealing with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia: the good, the bad, and even the hopeful.

SpeakEasy Stage Company is producing the Boston premiere of "Next to Normal" March 9 through April 15 at the Calderwood Pavilion.

Lynda Cuttrell and WBUR's CommonHealth co-host Carey Goldberg joined Radio Boston to discuss the musical and how it portrays life with a mental illness.

"Instead of focusing on this, like, weird exotic illness and its symptoms and making it sort of completely dark, it puts it in its normal light," Cuttrell said. "Which is, this is a suburban family and these illnesses strike regularly, frequently, every socio-economic background and, you know, there is the ability to still laugh."

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This segment aired on March 6, 2012.

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