Next to Normal is a Tony Award winning rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Its story concerns a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. The musical also addresses such issues as grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life.
The musical won 2009 Tony Awards for Best Original Score for Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (lyrics), Best Orchestration for Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Alice Ripley. The show was nominated for a total of 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Next to Normal received several workshop performances before it debuted off-Broadway in 2008, winning the Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Score and receiving nominations for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actress (Alice Ripley) and Outstanding Score. It then played at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC from November 2008 to January 2009 and opened on Broadway in April 2009.