Booth Theatre, (4/15/2009 - 1/16/2011)

First Preview: Mar 27, 2009
Opening Date: Apr 15, 2009
Closing Date: Jan 16, 2011
Total Previews: 21
Total Performances: 733

Category: Musical, Original, Broadway

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo and Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Ellen Richard)

World Premiere on February 13, 2008 at: Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Ellen Richard, Executive Director); Subsequently presented by Arena Stage (Molly Smith, Artistic Director; Guy Bergquist, Interim Managing Director)

Book by Brian Yorkey; Music by Tom Kitt; Lyrics by Brian Yorkey; Music orchestrated by Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt; Vocal arrangements by AnnMarie Milazzo; Musical Director: Charlie Alterman; Additional Guitar Arrangements by: Michael Aarons

Directed by Michael Greif; Musical Staging by Sergio Trujillo; Associate Choreographer: Dontee Kiehn

Scenic Design by Mark Wendland; Costume Design by Jeff Mahshie; Lighting Design by Kevin Adams; Sound Design by Brian Ronan; Associate Lighting Design: Joel Silver; Associate Sound Design: David Stollings

General Manager: 321 Theatrical Management; Company Manager: Marc Borsak

Production Stage Manager: Judith Schoenfeld; Technical Supervisor: Larry Morley; Stage Manager: Martha Donaldson; Associate Tech. Suprvr: Bradley Thompson

Musical Coordinator: Michael Keller; Conducted by Charlie Alterman; Violin/Keyboard: Yuiko Kamakari; Cello: Ben Kalb; Guitars: Eric B. Davis; Bass: Michael Blanco; Drums/Percussion: Damien Bassman; Copyist: Emily Grishman Music Preparation

Casting: Telsey + Company; Press Representative: Barlow-Hartman Public Relations; Dance Captain: Jessica Phillips; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Alice RipleyDiana
(Mar 27, 2009 - Jul 18, 2010)
J. Robert SpencerDan
(Mar 27, 2009 - May 16, 2010)
Adam Chanler-BeratHenry
Jennifer DamianoNatalie
(Mar 27, 2009 - Jul 18, 2010)
Louis Hobson
Broadway debut
Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine
Aaron TveitGabe
(Mar 27, 2009 - Jun 07, 2009)

Understudies: Michael Berry (Dan, Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine), Meghann Fahy (Natalie), Jessica Phillips (Diana) and Tim Young (Gabe, Henry)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2009 Best Musical [nominee] 

Produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo and Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Ellen Richard)

 2009 Best Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Brian Yorkey

winner 2009 Best Original Score Written for the Theatre [winner] 

Music by Tom Kitt; Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

 2009 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

J. Robert Spencer

winner 2009 Best Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Alice Ripley

 2009 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Jennifer Damiano

 2009 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

Michael Greif

winner 2009 Best Orchestrations [winner] 

Michael Starobin

winner 2009 Best Orchestrations [winner] 

Tom Kitt

 2009 Best Scenic Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Mark Wendland

 2009 Best Lighting Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Kevin Adams

 2009 Best Sound Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Sound Design by Brian Ronan

Pulitzer Prize

winner 2010 for Drama [winner] 

Book by Brian Yorkey; Lyrics by Brian Yorkey; Music by Tom Kitt


music by Tom Kitt; lyrics by Brian Yorkey

ACT 1 Sung By
Just Another DayCompany
Everything ElseNatalie
Who's Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and ICompany
Perfect for YouNatalie and Henry
I Miss the MountainsDiana
It's Gonna Be GoodCompany
He's Not HereDan
You Don't KnowDiana
I Am the OneDan, Gabe and Diana
Superboy and the Invisible GirlNatalie, Gabe and Diana
I'm AliveGabe
Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm FallingCompany
I Dreamed a DanceDiana and Gabe
There's a WorldGabe
I've BeenDan
Didn't I See This Movie?Diana
A Light in the DarkDan and Diana
ACT 2 Sung By
Wish I Were HereCompany
Song of ForgettingDiana, Dan and Natalie
Hey #1Natalie and Henry
Seconds and YearsDoctor Madden, Dan and Diana
Better Than BeforeDiana, Dan, Natalie and Doctor Madden
Hey #2Natalie and Henry
You Don't Know (Reprise) Diana and Doctor Madden
How Could I Ever Forget?Diana and Dan
It's Gonna Be Good (Reprise) Dan and Diana
Why Stay?/A PromiseDiana, Natalie, Dan and Henry
I'm Alive (Reprise) Gabe
The BreakDiana
Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling (Reprise) Diana, Gabe and Doctor Madden
Maybe Diana and Natalie
Hey #3/Perfect for You (Reprise)Natalie and Gabe
So AnywayDiana
I Am the One (Reprise) Dan and Gabe
Light Company


AP: "Mental illness shatters family in 'Normal'"

There are no easy answers to be found in "Next to Normal," a startling, emotion-drenched musical about one family's attempt to cope with mental illness. The show is an impressive achievement, a heartfelt entertainment that has found its way back to New York after an invaluable out-of-town retooling.

It's startling because the production, which opened Wednesday at Broadway's Booth Theatre, tackles the uncomfortable subject of manic depression with a straightforwardness that is commendable. And it's emotional, too, in that Brian Yorkey, who wrote the book and lyrics, and Tom Kitt, who composed the music, have crafted an affecting contemporary tale that doesn't shortchange character or plot in their attempt to tell a difficult story.

"Next to Normal" traces the anguished, downward spiral of a bipolar wife and mother, played by Alice Ripley. The actress is giving one of those fearless performances that is astonishing in its theatrical intensity and vocal commitment. Watching her unravel is a harrowing experience, as are the woman's attempts to combat her problems with pills, shrinks and electroshock therapy.

As she flounders, her family suffers, too. There is her husband (superbly played by J. Robert Spencer), a pent-up helpmate who is dutiful in his devotion and devoid of passion as he bottles up his own feelings.

And an overachieving daughter with anxieties of her own, problems that mirror her mother's own troubles. Jennifer Damiano plays her with a sweet insecurity, combative with her parents and resisting the affections of her stoner boyfriend, portrayed with ingratiating loyalty by Adam Chanler-Berat.

Monitoring this family destructiveness is her mysterious brother — a charismatic Aaron Tveit — and an eerily supportive doctor played by Louis Hobson.

What these performers all have in common are powerhouse voices, able to negotiate a pulsating pop-rock score. Actually, pop-rock doesn't do justice to Kitt's often haunting melodies and Yorkey's intelligent lyrics. Both are infused with a theatricality that helps define who these people are.

Under Michael Greif's sharp direction and the kinetic musical staging of Sergio Trujillo, the actors move with ease — and sometimes gymnastically — around designer Mark Wendland's multitiered set. It quickly transforms itself from suburban home to doctor's office and serves as the nesting area for the musical's small band.

The stage has been blindingly lighted by Kevin Adams, whose array of powerful, colored lights give off an unnerving sense of dislocation that suggests the fragile state of the lead character's mind.

"Next to Normal" was seen early last year at off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre with much the same cast. An engagement in late 2008 at Washington's Arena Stage allowed the authors to clarify what had been a more diffuse, less focused musical.

That newfound clarity has ratcheted up the show's effectiveness, making "Next to Normal" one of the most adventurous and satisfying musicals of the season.


New York Daily News: "'Next to Normal' is way beyond ordinary"

People don't usually yearn to be ordinary. But when events cause their lives to spiral out of control, normalcy is precisely what they pray for. Or even a close facsimile.

That idea beats at the heart of the musical "Next to Normal," about a troubled family - the bipolar Diana (Alice Ripley), her husband, Dan (J. Robert Spencer), and their kids, Gabe (Aaron Tveit) and Natalie (Jennifer Damiano).

A story of a mom's mental illness and the toll it has taken on her and everyone around her may not sound like one that sings, but Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics) have created an exceptional show that says something meaningful and powerful about surviving in a world of problems.

Special credit is due these songwriters whose words and melodies resonate after you leave the theater - from the exhilarating opener, "Just Another Day," and the tenderly romantic "Perfect for You," to the heartbreaking "Song of Forgetting."

"Next to Normal" premiered Off-Broadway in February 2008 at Second Stage and a version ran at D.C.'s Arena Stage last November. During this gestation, the creative team has done considerable work honing the material. It shows.

Excellent contributions by director Michael Greif ("Rent," "Grey Gardens"), designers Mark Wendland (set) and Kevin Adams (lights), and the cast add immensely to the production.

Spencer is a steadying and appealing force as the devoted husband. Like Louis Hobson, who plays Diana's doctor, he is new to the ensemble since its run Off-Broadway. Both have great moments.

Damiano projects a profound mixture of strength and sadness as Natalie, and Adam Chanler-Berat adds a winning mix of geeky-sweet as her boyfriend. With his striking voice and confidence, Tveit radiates star quality.

As the unmoored mother, Ripley gives a towering performance that leaves you tongue-tied for superlatives. In "I Miss the Mountains," she explores the show's probing question: What's worse - being pill-free and unpredictable or being drugged and numb?

"Next to Normal" covers a challenging subject, no question. That it's hopeful and uplifting, not depressing, is more than a triumph - it's next to wondrous.

New York Daily News

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

Booth Theatre

(4/15/2009 - 1/16/2011)
Additional Percussion Arrangements by Damien Bassman.

Company Manager: Eric Cornell(Jul 19, 2010 - Aug 22, 2010), Lisa Koch Rao(Aug 23, 2010 - ?).

Stage Manager: Shawn Pennington(Jul 19, 2010 - ?); Assistant Stage Mgr: Alex Lyu Volckhausen.

Cello: Alisa Horn(Apr 16, 2010 - ?); Drums/Percussion: Shannon Ford.

Dance Captain: Brian Crum(Aug 9, 2010 - ?).


Jason Danieley
Dan (Jul 19, 2010 - Jan 16, 2011)
Meghann Fahy
Natalie (Jul 19, 2010 - Jan 16, 2011)
Brian d'Arcy James
Originated this role in the original Off-Broadway premiere
Dan (May 17, 2010 - Jul 18, 2010)
Kyle Dean Massey
Gabe (Jun 9, 2009 - Sep 6, 2009)
Gabe (Jan 4, 2010 - Jan 16, 2011)
Marin Mazzie
Diana (Jul 19, 2010 - Jan 16, 2011)
Aaron Tveit
Gabe (Sep 7, 2009 - Jan 3, 2010)

Understudies: Joe Cassidy (Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine), Brian Crum (Gabe, Henry), Curt Hansen (Gabe), Emma Hunton (Natalie), Adam Kantor (Henry), Mackenzie Mauzy (Natalie), Michael McElroy (Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine), Catherine Porter (Diana), Asa Somers (Dan, Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine), Sarah Uriarte Berry (Diana), Kathy Voytko (Diana).

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