Michael Greif ( Grey Gardens, Rent) will direct the production that is scheduled to begin previews Jan. 16, 2008, and open Feb. 13 for a run through March 9.
Featuring music by Tom Kitt ( High Fidelity) with a book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey ( Making Tracks), Next to Normal "explores how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their world intact," according to show notes. "How does an almost average family navigate today's over-stimulated and over-medicated world? In this darkly funny and haunting new musical, one suburban household confronts its past and its future."
Mary Mitchell Campbell serves as musical director. Orchestrations are by Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt. AnnMarie Milazzo provides vocal arrangements. Recently seen in Little Fish in Hollywood, Ripley has played on Broadway in Side Show (Tony nomination), The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce's The Dead, Sunset Boulevard, King David and The Who's Tommy. Other credits for the actress and recording star include Tell Me On a Sunday, Company, Shakespeare in Hollywood, Five Flights, Li'l Abner and The Baker's Wife, among others.
James — who is slated to reprise his turn in Irving Berlin's White Christmas — was last seen on Broadway in The Apple Tree. Other turns for the actor include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Sweet Smell of Success, Titanic, Carousel, Blood Brothers, The Wild Party, The Pavilion, Flight, Pardon My English and Floyd Collins.
Director Greif's productions have included Broadway's Grey Gardens, Rent and Never Gonna Dance as well as Romeo and Juliet, A Very Common Procedure, Satellites, Landscape of the Body, Mr. Marmalade, Spatter Pattern, The Distance From Here and Beauty of the Father, among others.