Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage Presents NEXT TO NORMAL, Opening 10/19

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Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage Presents NEXT TO NORMAL, Opening 10/19

Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County's award-winning professional theatre company, opens their 2012/2013 Season with the area premiere of "Next to Normal." This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical runs October 19-November 4 at MTC Studio Theatre in Westport.

With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, "Next to Normal" explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness.This contemporary musical is an emotional powerhouse that addresses such issues as grieving a loss, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life. With provocative lyrics and a thrilling score, this musical shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact.

Nominated for eleven Tony Awards, the production won three, Best Original Score, Best Orchestration and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Alice Ripley. "Next to Normal" won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming just the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. In awarding the prize to Kitt and Yorkey, the Pulitzer Board called the show "a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals."

"There are musicals that make an indelible mark on our culture, and 'Next to Normal' is one of them," says Kevin Connors, director of "Next to Normal" at MTC MainStage. "It's a very powerful show dealing directly with contemporary issues faced by so many people. Audiences will be talking about this show for months." 

The cast of "Next to Normal" is led by Ridgefield resident and Broadway star Juliet Lambert Pratt as Diana, whose Broadway credits include Fantine in the 10th Anniversary production of "Les Miserables," the Mistress in the original cast of Stephen Sondheim's "Passion", and as Rose in the original Brodway cast of  "Meet Me in St. Louis." She toured with Chita Rivera in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and Michael Crawford in "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Joining Ms. Pratt is Fairfield native Elissa DeMaria making her MTC MainStage debut as Natalie, Will Erat who recently appeared on Broadway in "Catch Me If You Can" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," and earned critical acclaim in the world premiere of Philip Glass and Leonard Cohen's "Book of Longing."; Tommy Foster, who returns to MTC MainStage where he appeared in "john & jen."; Logan Hart who recently appeared in the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit "Broadway Bares XXII" directed by Jerry Mitchell. Logan, and as Ryan in "High School Musical" at Paper Mill Playhouse. The cast is rounded out by MTC School of Performing Arts alumni Jacob Heimer as Henry. Jacob's NYC credits include "As You Like It" at Pulse Ensemble Theatre, "Spoon River" and readings at Second Stage; and numerous regional credits including "The Fantasticks" at Palm Beach Dramaworks, "Falsettos" at Barrington Stage and "Actor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" at Goodspeed.  

"Next to Normal" is directed by award-winning director Kevin Connors, who serves as Executive Artistic Director and is a co-founder of MTC. Musical direction is by David Wolfson, scenic design by Nicholas Schwartz, lighting by John Anselmo, costumes by Diane Vanderkroef and stage managed by Jim Schilling.

MTC is proud to partner again this season with Rizzuto's Wood-Fired Kitchen and Bar of Westport offering a special dinner offer to "Next to Normal" ticket holders. See the MTC website for details.

"Next to Normal" will be performed October 19-November 4, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with matinees Saturdays at 4pm and Sundays at 3pm, at MTC MainStage Studio Theatre, 246 Post Road East (ColoniAl Green/Lower Level) in downtown Westport, CT. Tickets are available by calling 203.454.3883 or visiting www.musictheatreofct.com Each performance is followed by a wine and cheese reception where the audience is invited to meet the actors and production team. 

Tickets to "Next to Normal" are $25-$45 ($5 off for seniors and students.) Call 203.454.3883 or visit www.musictheatreofct.com.

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