Monday, March 28, 2011

normal is as normal as it gets

my friend Brian and i watched the last run of the play Next to Normal tonight. it was a nice play. depressing but nice.

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Next to Normal is about a family whose lives are in disarray because of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid, but more often they are gradual and slow, and intervals of normal mood may occur between the high (manic) and low (depressive) phases of the condition. The symptoms of both the depressive and manic cycles may be severe and often lead to impaired functioning.

of course, you don't believe everything you read in the internet. the woman in the show was sort of like that.

i've been described as bipolar. maybe that's why the show meant so much to me, i could relate to the character so well. we went in there thinking we would need to slash our wrists on our way out of the theater but we didn't have to. it ended sadly. love doesn't have to die, especially when it fought the odds for so long. but maybe that's really how it is. so goes the song . . .

I am the one who loved you.
I am the one who stayed.
I am the one and you walked away.
I am the one who waited
And now you act like you just don't give a damn.
Like you never knew who I am.

the story is about a woman who never really recovered from the death of her eight-month old son and has had hallucinations of him growing up to be seventeen years old. the disorder has affected her relationship with her husband and her surviving daughter. after months, years of treatment, they still weren't able to cure the real disorder - their relationship as a family.

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my crushee, Felix Rivera

the actors were wonderful. i've had a crush on Felix Rivera since the Spelling Bee and i loved him even more in Avenue Q. here, i saw his abs and i'm a goner. Jett Pangan has become a strong theater actor and has proven his versatility. i've loved Bea Garcia since Spring Awakening and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo is mesmerizing. Markki and Jake, the other two supporting characters were equally good. the show was depressing, humorous, entertaining.

the cast was also star-studded. we saw the original Dodong and a whole bunch of theater actors.

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the original Dodong of Zsazsa, Arnold Reyes

watching the play made me think, what is normal? what is acceptable? what if those whom we perceive as being "not normal" are better off than us insane people?

just a thought.