Broadway Features and Reviews
J. Robert Spencer's Tony Nomination Heaven
By Emily Moore, Broadway Magazine
With the announcement of the 2009 Tony Awards, there was little surprise that the musical Next To Normal would be in the running in multiple categories.
A bold story about a family dealing with mental illness, the unconventional musical has earned 11 Tony Award nominations and is in a heated battle with Billy Elliot for Best Musical. Emily Moore recently spoke with actor J.Robert Spencer about his Tony nomination, the show, and more.
EM: So... gotta ask: How does it feel?
JRS: It feels like Heaven. It feels exhilarating and just because of my long path and long journey of patience and persistence and all that... it just feels like all the stars are in alignment.
EM: So where were you when you found out you were nominated?
JRS: My wife and I were home with our kids and we were on the couch just watching the clock tick down and when it happened my wife screamed and grabbed me and didn't let go, it was a beautiful moment.
EM: What is it like working with such a ridiculously talented cast?
JRS: it's incredible. We all have a beautiful family and special connection. Everyone is so wonderful to work with and everyone delivers but also has such passion and no one lollygags and everyone is into the show and living in and out of the characters every night and that's a thrill as an artist to every night paint a new portrait. We keep is consist with the timing and structure, obviously, but internally there's something different happening... we can read it in each other's eyes and faces and we have a beautiful connection.
EM: "Next to Normal" is very heavy, emotional show. How do you go through that emotional journey every night?
JRS: It's great. It's very rewarding as an actor to go those depths. What's beautiful is we're in this zone now where we get can on stage and do it and the moment we get off stage we are stupid and silly and hitting each other. And with a show like this we have to have that balance otherwise we would end up depressed basket cases for the rest of our lives. Were in this zone right where we all love going there and were able to let it go and leave it at the theatre.
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