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Posts Tagged ‘“Next To Normal”’

Next To NormalI have seen many shows in my life and many more because of this blog, but I can’t recall seeing a show that engulfed me as much as “Next To Normal.” This story captures you from the start and continues to pull you in and keeps you way beyond the ending of the show. “Next To Normal” tells the story of a family coping  with mental illness and while you might not think this makes for a musical, you better think twice about that. The music and lyrics successfully help drive this compelling story. Bringing this family to life is the supreme talents of Alice Ripley as the mother “Diana” who is suffering from mental illness, J. Robert Spencer (fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest participant) as the father “Dan” who is trying to help “Diana,” Kyle Dean Massey (who was performing tonight in place of Aaron Tveit) as “Gabe,” “Diana” & “Dan’s” son, Jennifer Daminao as “Natalie,” “Diana” & “Dan’s” daughter, Louis Hobson as “Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine,” the doctors who medically treat “Diana,”, and Adam Chandler-Berat as “Henry,” “Natalie’s” boyfriend. If you have not seen this show, don’t wait a moment longer, it’s worth the journey!

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J. Robert SpencerTony Award Nominated actor J. Robert Spencer has had quite a career. He has been seen lighting up the stage in “Side Show,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “Heartland,” “Tommy,” “Cats,” and “Lady Duck.” He also originated the role of “Nick Massi” in the Tony Award Winning Musical “Jersey Boys.” In addition to theatre, J. Robert Spencer is also an Independent Film Director, Producer, and Writer, heading up his own Independent Film Company “7 Spencer Productions.” His first independent feature film was “Farm Girl in New York” which was the official selection of the Sacramento International Film Festival (receiving nominations for Best Comedy and Best Actress), Big Apple, Atlanta, Buffalo Niagra, and the Seattle True Independent Film Festivals. “7 Spencer Productions” is currently in post-production of their second Independent Feature titled “Heterosexuals” featuring J. Robert Spencer, Ashley Williams, Tovah Feldshuh, and Natasha Lyonne. J. Robert Spencer has been the lead voice in two Japanese Animated Features, “Nightmare Campus” and the award winning “Grave of the Fireflies.” He also received a Best Supporting Actor Nomination at the SMMASH Film Festival for his role as Psychopathic Killer “Bob” in the Independent Feature Film “Night of the Dog.” In addition to his nomination, the film won “Best Feature Audience Awards” at Palm Beach, Santa Barbara, SMMASH, and PBIFF Film Festivals. Currently, J. Robert Spencer can be seen in the Tony Award Winning Musical “Next To Normal” as “Dan”, a role for which he received a 2009 Tony Award Nomination as well as the one night only  “Rockers on Broadway” concert this Monday, November 2 at B.B. Kings and in the CD/DVD release of “Handel’s Messiah Rocks.” For more on J. Robert Spencer including photos, videos, and merchandise, visit: http://www.jrobertspencer.com/

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? The Audience inspired me…. I was in fourth grade and I auditioned for the role of Alligator from Really Rosie. I did something funny, spur of the moment kinda thing, and all the kids and teachers starting laughing. And I went… (pause) “Hmmmm…”

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? All the greats. All of them. I wanna work with them all…in front and behind the camera/scenes. And….I so wish I could have worked with the late John Cassavetes.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Strange or unusual…..well, before 40, I used to be able to put both legs behind my head.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I’M MARRIED! We don’t dream of anyone else except our loved ones!! ANGELINA JOLIE.

5. What’s the best advice you’ve given someone, but not taken for yourself? To stop doing questionnaire’s.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? In my dressing room I like to work out with my yoga and medicine ball.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Usually Boxers, but recently purchased some briefs by accident….and I’m enjoying them.

8. Favorite musician/singer? Group – RUSH

9. Favorite TV Theme Song? Three’s Company.

10. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I love Chocalate Glazed, Coconut, and Eclair.

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