By Paul Katz
Updated April 10, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT
Joan Marcus

Next to Normal

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  • Stage

The phrase crazy in love best describes Next to Normal, an intense new musical centering on a suburban mom (Alice Ripley) and her struggle to balance marriage, motherhood, and manic depression. Hubby (Brian d’Arcy James) tries to stay stalwart through rounds of meds and trips to shrinks; meanwhile, their teenage daughter (Jennifer Damiano) begins her own pharmaceutically aided spiral into self-destruction. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s lively score injects some much-needed satirical levity into the downer of a plot. But despite Ripley’s electric work, Normal never fully jells; like its heroine, it’s a bit off-kilter in the end. (212-246-4422) B-

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Next to Normal

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