Next to Normal, In the Heights and The Little Mermaid to Play Manila

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28 Jan 2011

Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical Next to Normal will debut in Manila with an all-Filipino cast this March. A host of fresh Broadway rock titles will follow.

Atlantis Productions will produce the production, which marks the first international, English-language production of Next to Normal. The musical made its international debut at Oslo's Norske Teatret in fall 2010.

Atlantis has also produced the Manila debuts of Legally Blonde, Xanadu and Spring Awakening in recent years. The company has announced that its season will include fresh productions of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (June 24-July 10), the Tony-winning musical In the Heights (Sept. 2-18) and Disney's The Little Mermaid (Nov. 18-Dec. 11).

Bobby Garcia will stage Next to Normal, which will run March 11-27 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in Makati.

The cast will feature Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Evita, Sweeney Todd,  Baby) as Diana, Jett Pangan (Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening) as Dan, Felix Rivera as Gabe, Bea Garcia as Natalie, "Pilipinas Got Talent" finalist Markki Stroem as Henry and Jake Macapagal as Dr. Madden.



"I am thrilled that Atlantis is opening 2011 with a show as ground breaking and as powerful as Next to Normal," Garcia said in a statement. "It is one of the most unlikely hit musicals to have ever opened on a Broadway stage, and I am thrilled that we will get to create our own unique family for this production. When I saw Next to Normal Off-Broadway two years ago and on Broadway last year, I was again excited that musical theatre was taking a leap forward."

Kitt (music) and Yorkey (book/lyrics) authored the musical about a mother battling depression and bi-polar disorder, which also delves into prescription drug abuse, suicide, grief and the breakdown of an American family.

Next to Normal ended its almost two-year Broadway run Jan. 16. It earned Tony Awards for Best Score (Kitt/Yorkey), Best Orchestrations (Kitt/Michael Starobin), Best Actress (Alice Ripley) 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. It was also awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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