Ripley and Damiano, who play mother and daughter Diana and Natalie, respectively, have been with the musical since its Off-Broadway premiere at Second Stage in 2008. D'Arcy James originated the role of family patriarch Dan Off-Broadway, but joined the musical adaptation of Shrek prior to Next to Normal's Broadway arrival. Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer replaced d'Arcy James for the Broadway run.
Ripley, who earned a Tony Award for her portrayal of a mother struggling with mental illness, will not be leaving the role of Diana Goodman behind. The actress will star in the national tour of Next to Normal when it launches Nov. 23 in Los Angeles.
Damiano, who also received a Tony nomination for her performance, has been reported to star as Mary Jane in the U2-scored Broadway musical Spider-Man. D'Arcy James departs the production in order to reprise his performance in the commercial Broadway return engagement of Donald Margulies' Time Stands Still in September.
Husband-and-wife actors Jason Danieley and Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie will step into the roles of Diana and Dan, respectively, beginning July 19. Understudy Meghann Fahy will assume the role of Natalie.
Next to Normal also features Kyle Dean Massey as Gabe, Adam Chanler-Berat as Henry and Louis Hobson Dr. Madden. Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book/lyrics) penned Next to Normal, which puts a woman's struggle with bi-polar disorder and depression center stage. Next to Normal also explores the raw emotion of a family in crisis.
The writers earned the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score. Kitt was also Tony-honored for Best Orchestrations.
Next to Normal arrived on Broadway in March 2009 following an Off-Broadway run at Second Stage and a regional engagement at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
Next to Normal currently plays the Booth Theatre. Visit NexttoNormal.