Early in “Next to Normal”, troubled housewife and mother Diana is making sandwiches for her family — husband Dan, son Gabe and daughter Natalie — in the kitchen. Only she isn’t lining up the ingredients — the bread, the filler, the condiments — on the kitchen table, as you might expect. She is laying them out hastily, almost feverishly… on the kitchen floor.
.That’s the first sign that something is not quite right with Diana. (Another clue — a surprise — pops up soon after, but I won’t reveal it here.) Until that moment, Diana appears to be the typical Mom: loving, caring, and conscientious. (No one in her family will go hungry as long as SHE has anything to say about it.) It is not until the scene has played itself out that we realize there is more to Diana — much more — than meets the eye.