Spencer, who played Nick Massi in the smash musical Jersey Boys, will appear in Arena's Michael Greif-directed production of the musical Next to Normal, about a family affected by a mother's mental illness and grief. He'll play the dad, Dan. No other casting for the musical has been announced. Alice Ripley won praise for playing the mom in the Second Stage production of it Off-Broadway in early 2008. It will play Nov. 21, 2008-Jan. 18, 2009 at Arena's temporary home in Crystal City, VA.
Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance, as previously mentioned in Arena's season announcement, will feature Jayne Houdyshell (Broadway's Wicked and Well) and Kathleen Chalfant and Ellen McLaughlin (of Broadway's Angels in America). The family drama plays Feb. 6-March 15, 2009, in Crystal City.
The Arena remount of the popular Helen Hayes Award-winning play with music, Crowns, about African-American church ladies and their hats, will play March 27-April 26, 2009, at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, and will feature E. Faye Butler (Arena's Dinah Was), Marva Hicks (The Lion King, Arena's The Women of Brewster Place), Harriet D. Foy (Arena's Brewster Place, Broadway's Mamma Mia!) and Natasha Yvette Williams (Broadway's The Color Purple), all directed by Kenny Roberson.
While its home is undergoing a massive renovation, Arena Stage is presenting at borrowed spaces in the DC area. For more information about the Arena season, visit arenastage.org.