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New Helvetia Theater opened an extended run of their hit show the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play “next to normal” this evening. As I said in my review of last week, the production deserves all the praise that has been heaped on it.
One of the characters that I found particularly interesting was Gabe, the 16 year old son who loves causing trouble and other normal male teen behavior. I spoke with actor Garrett M. Bruce who portrays Gabe before this evening’s show.
(Image by: Chris Baad Photography)
Bruce had seen the Broadway production of “next to normal” and was really attracted to the role of Gabe. He sees the role as one that opens a lot of possibilities for him as an actor. He talked of needing to balance being sweet and lovable while doing bad things, all the while trying to keep a balance that keeps the audience on Gabe’s side.
Though he has about a decade on the character in age, Bruce has no difficulty portraying a 16 year old. He laughed at how easy it was for him to go back to his teen years and draw inspiration for his character, while bringing a lot of himself to the role.
When asked about my having called him a scene stealer he demurred that his performance was “in service to the cast.” Watching “next to normal” one gets the feeling that all the cast members were performing in service to the cast, bringing out each others best performances.
“next to normal” New Helvetia Theatre
Box office (916) 916-469-9850 online newhelvetia.org
November 1-3 8:00 pm