Damiano to Depart NEXT TO NORMAL 7/18, Fahy to Take Over

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Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano will play her final performance as Natalie in the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal on Sunday, July 18 at 7:30p.m. As previously announced, Tony Award winner Alice Ripley and two-time Tony Award nominee Brian D'Arcy James will also play their final performance on that date. Meghann Fahy will assume the role of Natalie on Monday, July 19th.

Beginning July 19th, the company of Next to Normal will also include Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Kyle Dean Massey and original cast members Adam Chanler-Berat and Louis Hobson.

Meghann Fahy made her Broadway debut understudying the role of Natalie in Next to Normal. She first joined the company in its regional production at Arena Stage. She has appeared regularly on "One Life to Live" and has made a guest appearance on "Gossip Girl."

With a thrilling contemporary score, Next to Normal is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other.

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three 2009 Tony Awards, Next to Normal features music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and direction by Michael Greif. The creative team also includes Sergio Trujillo (musical staging), Mark Wendland (set design), Jeff Mahshie (costume design), Kevin Adams (lighting design), and Brian Ronan (sound design). Musical direction is by Charlie Alterman, orchestrations are by Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, and vocal arrangements by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Next to Normal has had a surprising and highly unlikely route to Broadway. The musical originally opened at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre on February 13, 2008. The producer, David Stone, who had been guiding the musical since 2005, took the unexpected step of bringing the show to Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage where it was significantly reworked, and then back to New York and to Broadway, where it opened to rave reviews on April 15, 2009. This unusual trajectory from a New York Off-Broadway premiere to an out-of-town regional theatre engagement and then back to New York is unprecedented.

The musical, which recently announced that it had recouped its entire original investment, celebrated its one year Anniversary on April 15th at the Booth Theatre (222 West 45th street) and will also kick off a North American tour this fall in Los Angeles, beginning performances at the Ahmanson Theatre on November 23. Following the premiere, the tour has confirmed engagements in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Hartford, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, St. Paul, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Washington, DC, and a dozen other cities to be announced in the near future.

Next to Normal is produced by David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo, and Second Stage Theatre.

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