New Musical Next to Normal Closes Off-Broadway March 16

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16 Mar 2008

Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James in <I>Next to Normal.</I>
Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James in Next to Normal.
Photo by Joan Marcus

The extended Off-Broadway run of the new musical Next to Normal plays its final performance at Second Stage Theatre March 16.

Alice Ripley and Brian d'Arcy James co-star in the Michael Greif staging of the musical penned by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. Previews began Jan. 16, and the show opened Feb. 13 for a run originally scheduled through March 9. The work extended a week of performances.

Production spokespersons could not confirm if the property would have any future beyond Off-Broadway, though the show was still being developed even after opening. Plans for a cast album are possible, although a recording deal has yet to be confirmed.

Featuring music by Kitt (High Fidelity) with a book and lyrics by 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."

Joining Ripley and James in the cast are Adam Chanler-Berat (Les Misérables), Jennifer Damiano (Spring Awakening), Asa Somers (Grey Gardens, Taboo) and Aaron Tveit (Hairspray).



Mary Mitchell Campbell served as musical director. Orchestrations are by Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt. AnnMarie Milazzo provided vocal arrangements.

The design team features Mark Wendland (set), Jeff Mahshie (costume), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Brian Ronan (sound). Musical staging is provided by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys).

Recently seen in Little Fish in Hollywood, Alice 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.

Brian d'Arcy James — who just appeared in Irving Berlin's White Christmas — was last on Broadway in The Apple Tree. Other theatre credits 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 Michael 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.

Tickets to Next to Normal at Second Stage Theatre, 307 West 43rd Street, are available by calling (212) 246-4422 or online at 2ST.com.