Short Essay Questions Key
1. Describe the central themes in Next to Normal. What does the story of the play revolve around?
This acclaimed musical is the story of a family traumatized by death and struggling with issues related to the mental illness of one of its members. As it explores aspects of the power and function of memory, the work also considers thematic questions relating to the nature and value of loyalty and the need for hope in the face of adversity.
2. How is the music used in expressing the inner thoughts of the characters in Act 1?
The characters and situations in this section are portrayed in vivid and at times very broad strokes that manifest both musically and textually. In other words, both words and music vividly evoke their individual states of being - their desperation, their need, their confusion, and the varied, sometimes contradictory, drives that make them do what they do in the way that they do it.
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