Tag Archives: Next to Normal

Presenting the West Michigan Premiere of “Next to Normal”

ntn-logo_225The upcoming Actors’ production of Next to Normal tells the story of suburban mom Diana (played by Kelly Carey), who struggles to battle her mental demons, brought about, in part, by bipolar disorder. Her husband Dan (played Larry Young) fights to help keep both her mind and his family stable, even as Diana decides to suddenly go “off meds.”  Their sixteen year-old daughter Natalie (played by Maggie Nye), on the other hand, can’t seem to escape the shadow of her mysterious eighteen year-old brother (played by Kyle Los) – who has a surprise of his own.

A “brave, breathtaking musical” (The New York Times) about a family attempting to find a balance between taking care of themselves and taking care of each other, Next to Normal is sure to be a must-see event this theatrical season!   Tickets are now for sale online and may also be purchased by calling (616) 234-3946.  As an advance offer to our patrons, we are offering a special, online only discount for all performances of the production through Friday, November 2nd.  From now through next Friday, use the coupon code N2NADVANCEwhen purchasing online and receive 25% off your entire ticket order.  We anticipate high demand for this production of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning musical during its three weeks of performances so don’t delay…

Next to Normal is directed by Actors’ Theatre founder Fred Sebulske, with musical direction for the challenging score provided by Scott Patrick Bell.   Sebulske and Bell also comprised part of the artistic team from last season’s Spring Awakening, which was awarded the 2012 Grand Award for best production of a musical.

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Actors’ Congratulates the Cast of “Next to Normal”

Opening November 29, 2012. Suburban housewife Diana struggles to battle her mental demons. Husband Dan fights to help keep both her mind and his family stable, even as Diana decides to stop taking her medication.  Sixteen year-old Natalie can’t seem to escape the shadow of her mysterious eighteen year-old brother Gabe.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Next to Normal is a powerful, engaging and wholly contemporary musical about a family attempting to balance taking care of themselves and taking care of each other.

Actors’ Theatre, director Fred Sebulske and the production staff of Next to Normal  would like to thank all who participated in auditions held this past weekend.  The turnout for auditions was even better than expected and the talent levels made the final selection process a challenge!  We would like to congratulate the following individuals on their roles in this Pulitzer Prize-Winning musical!  The cast list is as follows:

DIANA – Kelly Carey

DAN – Larry Young

DR. MADDEN/DR. FINE – Jared Graybiel

GABE – Kyle Los

HENRY – Duncan McCargar

NATALIE – Maggie Nye

Tickets are now on sale at www.atgr.org/next-to-normal

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Playwright, Lyricist, Composer and Director of “Next to Normal”

This Pulitzer Prize winning musical is coming to Actors’ Theatre this November.

Brian Yorkey, Playwright & LyricistBrian Yorkey Photo

Brian received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score for his work on Next to Normal and was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Theatre credits include Making Tracks, which has played Off-Broadway and regionally; the musical adaptation of Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet; and the new country musical Play It By Heart. Film and TV include the features Time After Time, in development at Universal with Marc Platt, and Sluts for Lionsgate and Furst Films; he is currently writing Love Undercover for Pandemonium Films and Overture, and Chase for Anonymous Content and Rosenzweig Films; and he co-created Bears, a new series for the Logo network. He has directed Off-Broadway and regionally, and for seven years was associate artistic director at Village Theatre in Washington state, one of the nation’s leading producers of new musicals. He’s a graduate of Columbia University, where he was artistic director of the Varsity Show, an alum of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the WGA.

Tom Kitt, ComposerTom Kitt Photo

Mr. Kitt most recently created orchestrations/arrangements/musical supervision for American Idiot (Berkeley Rep). Kitt composed the new musical Next to Normal, for which he received two Tony Awards (Best Original Score with Brian Yorkey and Best Orchestration with Michael Starobin), the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Score and the 2009 Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition. As a composer, his other credits include High Fidelity on Broadway, From Up Here at Manhattan Theatre Club and The Retributionists at Playwrights Horizons. As a musical director, conductor and arranger for Broadway and off-Broadway shows, his credits include 13, Debbie Does Dallas, Everyday Rapture (Second Stage), Hair, Mario Cantone: Laugh Whore and Urban Cowboy. He created new orchestrations for the CTG/Deaf West production of Pippin. His string arrangements appear on the new Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown. He is the proud leader of the Tom Kitt Band (www.tomkittband.com), and his original songs have been featured in film and on TV.

Fred Sebulske, DirectorFred Sebulske photo

Next to Normal marks Fred’s 58th directed production for Actors’ Theatre. Recent directing credits include 2012’s August: Osage County (Winner: 2012 Grand Award for Best Production of a Play), 2011’s Spring Awakening (Winner: 2012 Grand Award for Best Production of a Musical), 2010’s Distracted and recently, at Circle TheatreHair.  Among his many awards and accolades, he is the recipient of 10 Grand Awards for outstanding direction, the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement Award and the Arts Council Arts Award.

Fred is the founder of Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids.

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“Next to Normal” at Actors’ Theatre this November

Beginning November 29, 2012, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids is proud to present the West Michigan Premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Next to Normal. With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and original music by Tom Kitt, Next to Normal originally premiered off-broadway in 2008 before a re-worked version transferred to Broadway in 2009.  Critics have lauded this contemporary musical as “a feel-everything musical” and “a work that sings from a bruised heart, not a contented one” Next to Normal was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama – one of only eight musicals ever to be given the prestigious literary award.

Next to Normal Promo ImageNext to Normal tells the story of suburban mom Diana, who struggles to battle her mental demons, brought about, in part, by bipolar disorder. Her husband Dan fights to help keep both her mind and his family stable, even as Diana decides to suddenly go “off meds.”  Their sixteen year-old Natalie, on the other hand, can’t seem to escape the shadow of her mysterious eighteen year-old brother – who has a surprise of his own. Next to Normal is a “brave, breathtaking musical ” about a family attempting to find a balance between taking care of themselves and taking care of each other.

The production will be directed by Actors’ Theatre founder and recipient of the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement award for Grand Rapids theatre, Fred Sebulske.  Musical direction for the challenging score will be provided by Scott Patrick Bell.   Sebulske and Bell also comprised part of the artistic team from last season’s Spring Awakening, which was awarded the 2012 Grand Award for best production of a musical. 

Next to Normal will be presented on three consecutive weekends at GRCC Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, beginning on November 29, 2012.  All evening performances begin at 8PM.  A special benefit matinee will be presented at 2PM on Sunday, December 9, 2012 with a portion proceeds from the performance benefitting The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.

Ticket prices begin at $24 for adults and $20 for students/seniors.  Students with valid ID are eligible for $10 RUSH seating, based on availability, beginning one hour before the performance.  Groups of ten or more are eligible for discounts.  Tickets for Next to Normal may be purchased online at http://atgr.org/next-to-normal or by contacting the Actors’ Theatre business office at (616) 234-3968.


iBrantley, B. (2009, April 16). Fragmented Psyches, Uncomfortable Emotions: Sing Out! Retrieved from The New York Times: http://theater.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/theater/reviews/16norm.html

iiMarks, P. (2011, June 30). Theater review: ‘Next to Normal’ at Kennedy Center.Retrieved from The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/theater-review-next-to-normal-at-kennedy-center/2011/06/30/AGGokfsH_story.html

iii(Brantley, 2009)

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Auditions this Weekend for “Next to Normal”

Next to Normal

book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, music by Tom Kitt

Director: Fred Sebulske
Cast: 6 (4 Men/2 Women)

Audition Dates: October 6 from 10-1PM & October 7, 2012  from 12-3PM1, Spectrum Theater
Production Dates:
 November 29- December 15, 2012

Description: Suburban housewife Diana struggles to battle her mental demons, brought about, in part, by her bipolar disorder. Husband Dan fights to help keep both her mind and his family stable, even as Diana decides to stop taking her meds. Sixteen year-old Natalie, on the other hand, can’t seem to escape the shadow of her mysterious eighteen year-old brother! Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Next to Normal is a powerful, engaging and wholly contemporary musical about a family attempting to find a balance between taking care of themselves and taking care of each other. [Explore Next to Normal]

Roles:
DIANA
 (30s-40s) Sexy. Sharp. Delusional bipolar depressive.
DAN
(30s-40s) Diana’s husband. Handsome. Genuine. Constant. Tired.
DR. MADDEN/DR. FINE (30s) On the young side of ageless. Assured. A rock star.
GABE (17-18 yrs old) Diana’s son. Almost eighteen. Dashing. Gentle. Bright. Playful. Everything a mother, etc. 
HENRY (16-18 yrs old) Seventeen. Musician, romantic, stoner, slacker, philosopher king.
NATALIE (16-17 yrs old Diana’s daughter. Sixteen and trying to be perfect. It’s not going well

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