Next to Normal, with Entire Arena Cast, to Play Broadway's Longacre

By Andrew Gans
17 Feb 2009

J. Robert Spencer and Alice Ripley in Arena Stage's Next to Normal.
J. Robert Spencer and Alice Ripley in Arena Stage's Next to Normal.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Next to Normal, the acclaimed new musical seen Off-Broadway at Second Stage and more recently at Arlington's Arena Stage, will arrive on Broadway March 27 at the Longacre Theatre, most recently the home of the Tony-winning revival of Boeing-Boeing.

Opening night is April 15.

Michael Grief, who directed both the Off-Broadway and Arena Stage productions, will direct on Broadway as well. The Broadway production will also boast the entire Arena Stage cast: Alice Ripley, J. Robert Spencer, Aaron Tveit, Jennifer Damiano, Adam Chanler-Berat and Louis Hobson. (Ripley, Tveit, Damiano and Chanler-Berat were also in the Second Stage Theatre production.)

The producers will close the balcony of the Longacre to create a more intimate feel. Instead of seating 1,100, the theatre's capacity will now be 820. Producer David Stone told The New York Times, "We [wanted] an 800-seat theater but none were available, and this is a very emotional play and I'm a big believer in creating the theater space you need."



Stone added in a statement, "Anyone who has been involved with the creation of an original musical knows that much of the work happens in the rewriting. From the day after Next to Normal opened off-Broadway through opening night at Arena Stage, Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey, and Michael Greif were committed to improving and rewriting this show with a level of dedication and focus I have seldom seen from a creative team. The path to Broadway for Next to Normal has been highly unconventional and, in retrospect, the best thing that could have happened to this musical."

Next to Normal, according to press notes, is "a contemporary musical that explores how one suburban household copes with crisis. . . . [The musical] shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family's world intact."

Next to Normal was penned by Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics).

The Broadway production will feature set design by Mark Wendland, costume design by Jeff Mahshie, lighting design by Kevin Adams and sound design by Brian Ronan. The creative team also includes Sergiio Trujillo (musical staging), Charlie Alterman (musical direction), Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt (orchestrations) and AnnMarie Milazzo (vocal arrangements).

Ghostlight Records will release the Next to Normal cast recording the spring at a date to be announced. Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records president Kurt Deutsch and Grammy Award winner Joel Moss are producing the CD.

Broadway producers are David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo and Second Stage Theatre.

Show times will be Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 PM.

The Longacre Theatre is located in Manhattan at 222 West 48th Street. Tickets, priced $25-$115, can be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.Telecharge.com. The box office will open March 2.