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NYE Hack: If You Start Playing “Next to Normal” at 9:54:19, Everyone Will Leave & You Can Go to Bed

by Justin Ayer. @JustAyer (Instagram), @JustinAyer (Twitter).

NEW YORK, NY - Anyone who’s ever hosted a New Year’s Eve party knows that it’s nearly impossible to get the guests to leave when you want them to. This year, The Broadway Beat is happy to share a little hack to get your party back on track: if you start playing the Next to Normal cast recording at exactly 9:54:19pm, everyone will leave before midnight and you can just go to bed.


Jennifer Robinson, a 28 year old graduate student at Barnard College, tried the hack last year.


“It really works. I started the soundtrack at 9:54:19 on the dot, and not many people noticed at first,” noted Robinson. “But boy oh boy, when it got to ‘I Miss the Mountains’, people started to realize something was up, and when we got to ‘So Anyway’, there was barely anyone left - and those who were left were having full blown crying panic attacks on the couch. I slept like a baby that night, after my own tears dried, of course.”


Some of her guests reflected on the experience.


“I was just bummed out,” said Jeff Renshaw, a 25 year old who was hoping to get some cool NYE photos for Instagram. “I have never been that sad on New Year’s. Instead of taking another shot or kissing my sweetheart at the stroke of midnight, I called my mom crying and asked about her mental health. It’s something a lot of people are afraid to talk about. Maybe I’m stronger now? I don’t know, I think this year I’ll go to a bar.”


Lisa Gribbon, a friend of Next to Normal composer Tom Kitt, said Kitt had his own New Year’s Eve party hack to share.


“One year Tom got on the piano right before midnight and we thought he was going to play ‘Auld Lang Syne’, but no, he went right into playing ‘Light’ and after it was finished he just sat in silence until everyone left. It was quite unsettling and people don’t love hanging out with him any more - but it worked.”


At press time, we asked Jennifer Robinson if she would continue the New Year’s Eve hack this year, to which she said, “Oh, I’m not allowed to host parties anymore.”


However, she was preparing to attend a friend’s party, with a new hack for getting out of any awkward or boring conversations: begin a subtle, yet powerful a capella performance of ‘The Break’ and wait for them to walk away.