The attitude of splitting people into winners and losers is a distinctly American phenomena that inspired Michael Arndt’s screenplay about the Hoover family, a band of misfits fighting against the belief that they are exemplary losers. Adapted into a musical by James Lapine and William Finn, Little Miss Sunshine follows this bland family in their bright yellow VW van from New Mexico to California for the competition of their lives.
They look like any other normal family: a father as breadwinner, a mother as caretaker, a deadbeat son, and an overachieving daughter. But this family is working hard to hide their grief and gain control over their mother’s spiralling mental health. Next to Normal is a musical about coming to terms with the past and finding a middle ground everyone can feel steady on.