PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes on the Next to Normal Tour with Curt Hansen ("Gabe")

By Matthew Blank
30 Dec 2010

Curt Hansen — who plays "Gabe" in the national tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal — takes Playbill.com backstage to meet the cast and crew at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, where the tour launched Nov. 23.



The tour of the rock musical about an American family in crisis officially opened at the Ahmanson Nov. 28. It plays the Los Angeles venue through Jan. 2, 2011, and embarks on a limited 36-week, multi-city North American tour scheduled to end July 31 in Toronto.

Alice Ripley, who originated the role of grief-stricken family matriarch Diana Goodman, reprises her Tony-winning performance. Michael Greif repeats his staging for the tour, which also features Asa Somers (Grey Gardens, Taboo) as Dan, Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening) as Natalie, Hansen (Hairspray) as Gabe, Preston K. Sadleir (Me, Myself & I) as Henry and Jeremy Kushnier (Footloose, Rent) as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine.

Hansen, armed with a camera, takes us on a backstage tour of the Ahmanson and introduces us to the various people who inhabit the Goodman family's world.

View the Entire Photo Gallery
My pre-show iChat date with my girlfriend Hayley Podschun, who’s in NYC holding down the fort (and starring in Freckleface Strawberry at New World Stages).
Photo by Curt Hansen



The current tour itinerary for Next to Normal follows:

Los Angeles, CA (Nov. 23-Jan. 2, 2011, at the Ahmanson Theatre)
Denver, CO (Jan. 4-16, 2011, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House)
San Diego, CA (Jan. 18-23, 2011, at the Balboa Theatre)
San Francisco, CA (Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2011, at the Curran Theatre)
Seattle, WA (Fed. 22-March 13, 2011, at the 5th Avenue Theatre)
Des Moines, IA (March 15-20, 2011, at the Civic Center)
Providence, RI (March 22-27, 2011, at the PPAC)
Hartford, CT (March 29-April 3, 2011, at the Busnhell)
Pittsburgh, PA (April 5-10, 2011, at the Benedum Center)
St. Louis, MO (April 12-24, 2011, at the Fox Theatre)
Chicago, IL (April 26-May 8, 2011, at the La Salle Bank Theatre)
St. Paul, MN (May 10-22, 2011, at the Ordway)
Cleveland, OH (June 7-19, 2011, at the Palace Theatre)
Philadelphia, PA (June 21-26, 2011, at the Academy of Music)
Washington, DC (June 28-July 10, 2011, at the Eisenhower Theatre)
Charlotte, NC (July 12-17, 2011, at the Knight Theater)
Toronto, ON (July 19-31, 2011, at the Four Seasons Centre)

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. Next to Normal also earned the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations (Kitt/Michael Starobin) and received Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actress (Jennifer Damiano), Best Actor (J. Robert Spencer), Best Direction (Michael Greif), Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.

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. The production will end its Broadway run Jan. 16, 2011, after 21 previews and 733 performances.

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

Tickets for Next to Normal are available by calling Center Theatre Group at (213) 972-4400 or by visiting CenterTheatreGroup.

Visit NexttoNormal.