The acclaimed musical launched its limited 36-week, multi-city North American tour Nov. 23 in Los Angeles. Performances are scheduled at the Ahmanson through Jan. 2, 2011.
Ripley, who originated the role of grief-stricken family matriarch Diana Goodman, has been with the musical since its Off-Broadway premiere at Second Stage in 2008. Ripley earned praise and a Tony Award for her performance. She exited the Broadway production last July.
Tony-winning director Michael Greif repeats his staging for the tour, which also features Asa Somers ( Grey Gardens, Taboo) as Dan, Emma Hunton ( Spring Awakening) as Natalie, Curt Hansen ( Hairspray) as Gabe, Preston K. Sadleir ( Me, Myself & I) as Henry and Jeremy Kushnier ( Footloose, Rent) as Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine. Somers, Hunton and Hansen also appeared in the Broadway run of Next to Normal.
The national tour includes the work of the original Broadway creative team, including set designer Mark Wendland, costume designer Jeff Mahshie, lighting designer Kevin Adams and sound designer Brian Ronan.
The creative team also includes Sergiio Trujillo (musical staging), Bryan Perri (musical direction), Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt (orchestrations) and AnnMarie Milazzo (vocal arrangements). Charlie Alterman serves as musical supervisor. 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.