Sunday, January 30, 2011


I've been rambling about this all over the internet already, so maybe I could gather what I've already said here and only add what is necessary after that.

From my Tumblr:
"Just back from watching Next to Normal in Helsinki City Theatre.
Tuukka Leppänen singing I’m Alive = quite possibly the best thing I’ve seen in a theatre, in Finland at least. My heart was beating about three times as fast as normally. So powerful. Fantastic.
Oh yeah, the rest of it was pretty nice too. ;)"

From my deviantART:
"--And then it was time to go to see Next to Normal in Helsinki City Theatre. And this time I had talked a group of friends into coming with me. We had such fun, I don't think I've ever laughed that much during intermission!
I hope, though, that they'll still my friends after seeing me launch into my full fangirl mode.

The show?
It was wonderful.

First, score and book-wise: gorgeous.
This is, in my opinion, how musical theatre should be done.
I don't want to see another one of your Eighties' Hits Jukebox Extravaganzas or In the Year Seventy-Five: A Mix of Your Favourite Finnish Rock Songs Musicals getting done. This is what I want to see instead - a story that's more than just filler in between the songs. A strong score that works in harmony with the story and the characters.
Next to Normal has just that. It's the best musical I've seen in a long time.

And then, production-wise... Wow. It was oozing with awesome. It- uh. I know a friend I was there with is reading this and going "what is she pretending, there was just one reason she liked it", and she's pretty much right. So let's get to it.

Tuukka Leppänen.
I think I've gushed about him before, but let's just say it all again: he was Munkustrap in Cats, the musical that made me a musical fan in the first place, and was he awesome. I was briefly working at the library at the time and I remember how, the day after seeing it, I just stared blindly at the books, rewinding his parts of the show in my mind. After Cats, I've seen him in Mary Poppins, Wicked and now Next to Normal. And I'm always really, really amazed by his performances. Such stage presence, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.
And this time... You should've heard him sing "I'm Alive." Listening to it made my heart beat about three times as fast as usually. It was, in my opinion, one of the most powerful things I've ever seen in a theatre. Haven't been this impressed by a performance ever since I saw Ramin Karimloo in The Phantom of the Opera soon two years ago.
Or, by a Finnish performance, ever since I saw Cats for the second time over two years ago...

To be fair, the rest of the cast was really good too. Sometimes I've noticed Helsinki City Theatre's productions lack an emotional presence - can't explain it, really, just something that's missing - but that certainly wasn't a problem here!
Oh well, maybe I should've guessed this was going to be good when I went to the introduction by the director (Markku Nenonen) and he was practically jumping up and down in his seat, just out of excitement."

So, uh, hm, I notice my balanced, 0%-of-mindless-fangirling reviews are not so balanced after all... Heh. A girl, no matter how sensible, can fangirl sometimes, right?
Besides, if you had been there, I'm certain you could only think about that one performance too.

So, what's there left to say?
Well, this has been the perfect start for my musical year 2011. I'll get another ticket to N2N the first thing next week. I don't remember being this impressed by a show in a long time! The last time I felt this good after leaving a theatre was I saw Mary Poppins and giggled happily the whole hour and a half it took me to get to home (you there, stop laughing at my musical taste!).
Maybe I've found a new show to mention when talking about favourites - but I'll get the CD first and see if it can survive my light thirteen times per week listening schedule!


  1. are you going to see N2N 27.8 saturday or at least, this fall?

  2. I've been thinking about seeing it this fall once again (I'm not sure if I have the time, but I do hope so!), but I'm not seeing it this Saturday. I'll be in Lahti, seeing Jesus Christ Superstar instead. :)