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Next to Normal
Kerns: Award-winning rock musical explores pain, drama within bipolar disorder
By William Kerns
A-J ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Actress and acting teacher Paula Chanda recalled her husband, director and actor Bob Chanda, once told her, “Some stories can be told, but some stories should be told.
“‘Next to Normal’ is such an incredibly moving piece,” she said, “as well as musically brilliant. It is not your typical musical and definitely not your typical Lubbock musical. We felt like the impact it made on us personally required us to perform it, even if it was only in our living room.”...go to link for rest of story. (http://lubbockonline.com/entertainment/2012-05-17/award-winning-rock-musical-explores-pain-drama-bipolar-disorder#.T7q4RVISGVp
Outstanding musical 'Next to Normal' explores mental illness
Never would I have suspected that a stage musical with real voices and recorded tracks could wind up as intensely and continually involving as “Next to Normal” at LHUCA’s Firehouse Theatre.
Bob Chanda’s direction and his gifted cast give birth to an outstanding drama communicated in song, one guaranteed to make audiences care.
This definitely is not lightweight material. But it deserves to be seen and will be remembered.
The story is introduced via the song “Just Another Day,” which gradually finds Diana fixing sandwiches for her children. But her preparation does not stop even after she runs out of counter space and tosses bread slices on the floor.
It is a clue. Something is not right — not with the family, and definitely not with Diana...go to link for rest of this wonderful review. (http://lubbockonline.com/entertainment/2012-05-24/outstanding-musical-next-normal-explores-mental-illness#.T7-TaVISGVo)
William Kerns' comments on Center Stage Blog
By William Kerns
"'Night Mother" -- I have seen the play only three times. Comparisons do not fit here, but I will say that I never have seen this beautifully written play performed any better than it is now by Paula Chanda and Jane Prince Jones.
This is a tight, compactly-written, two-character play centering on one Friday night shared by a mother and daughter at home -- and this particular production is so well-acted that many patrons will be unable to leave until after they sit quietly and locate all the pieces of their heart.
That is, until after they regain their composure, wipe away tears and can walk out and say "Good show" to the actors, even though they realize it is much, much more.
This is a Hub Theater production at the Underwood Center, very reasonably priced, a one-act presentation less than two hours in length.
It is one of the year's most astonishing, moving, touching and powerful theatrical presentations in Lubbock.
Do yourself and your friends a favor -- take everyone you know -- (you won't want to see it alone anyway) -- and support Hub Theater Group by seeing "'Night Mother" next weekend.
I doubt that anyone will, or can, soon forget this production.
Posted: October 20, 2008
"Kerns: Firefighters Campbell, Houston to be honored with The Guys'"
"Anne Nelson's first play, "The Guys," finds a writer and actors asking audiences to share in the grieving process..." read William Kerns' article here.
"Please convey my warm appreciation to Chief Cooper, the firefighters of Lubbock, the Chandas, and the wonderful folks behind the scenes at the Hub Theater Group. I wish I could be there in person, but I will certainly be there in spirit."
-Anne Nelson, playwright
It has been far too long since Hub Theatre Group has re-emerged with new theater. Looking ahead, Dean Nolen will direct Bob Chanda and Christopher Kiley in a Hub Theatre Group production of “Red,” John Logan’s 2009 play about artist Mark Rothko, in August ...Chanda, however, presently is hard at work on an innovative community project. Hub Theatre Group has dubbed it simply “The Hamlet Project.” Go to link below for the rest of the story.
Check out the Lubbock Avalanche Journal Cover Story HERE. (NOTE SOME CHANGES: the dates have changed; Paula Chanda will play Emily and Bob Chanda will play Amir and direct).
Check out Fox34's coverage HERE.
Check out Kerns Review HERE.
Daily Toreador Article HERE.
Check out media coverage for Blackbird HERE.