Rita Harvey and Rob Sutton Lead NEXT TO NORMAL at TheatreSquared, Now thru 5/12
The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal, TheatreSquared's first Broadway-scale musical, begins tonight, April 18 in downtown Fayetteville. Broadway veterans Rita Harvey and Rob Sutton-an Arkansas native-lead an all-star cast of professionals from around the country, directed by T2's own associate artistic director Amy Herzberg. A surprise sensation in its Broadway debut, Next to Normal is the story of a suburban mother fighting to keep her family together, and features a powerful contemporary score. Tickets are available at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, by phone at (479) 443-5600or online at theatre2.org.
"If you've ever driven by a beautiful home with light streaming out of it and wondered what's going on inside, this may be your play," said Herzberg. "At its core is a mother, betrayed by her own mind and memory, desperately trying to love and connect with her family. It's a profoundly human story of struggle and hope, filled with powerful music-and reminds us that we're all next to normal."
Rita Harvey, whose Broadway credits include Christine in The Phantom of the Opera and Hodel in The Fiddler on the Roof, will lead an all-star cast from across the country that also includes Mountain Home, Arkansas native Rob Sutton (Beauty and the Beast-Broadway, Mamma Mia!-Las Vegas). The cast of national professionals also includes Matt Edmonds, Caroline Kittrell, Sky Madison and Jared Nepute.
Amy Herzberg, director, leads a creative team that includes Jason Burrow (Music Director), Johan Botes (Piano/Conductor), Patrick Bellah (Cello), Andrew Chu (Violin), Daniel Dyer (Guitar), Michael Ferguson (Percussion), Gary Sloan (Bass), Anna Lucia DeDe-Panken (Stage Manager), Emily Bohannan (Assistant Stage Manager), Josh Tillotson (Technical Director), Megan Truscott (Scenic Designer), Ruby Kemph (Costume Designer), Jason Pruzin (Sound Designer), Nathan Scheuer (Lighting Designer), and Ginny Headrick (Properties Designer).
In its 2010 Broadway debut, Next to Normal won three Tony Awards - including Best Original Score and Best Orchestration - and followed this success by garnering the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a rare feat for a musical. The show won widespread critical acclaim as well, with the New York Times calling it "brave, breathtaking... a feel-everything musical" and The Washington Post declaring it "the future of American Musicals." The play's intimate depiction of a mother's struggles with bipolar disorder, paired with its powerful, contemporary score, were hailed as trailblazing steps for a major Broadway musical.
Tickets for Next to Normal, on stage tonight, April 18-May 12, can be reserved by calling (479) 443-5600 or visiting theatre2.org. Performances are scheduled for Thursdays at 7:30, Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30, and Sunday at 2:00 and 7:00. A special performance sponsored by the UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute, followed by a panel discussion with Arkansas experts on bipolar disorder, will take place on May 1. The Opening Night performance on April 19 will include a champagne toast and catered reception with the cast. Tickets for the regular run range from $23-$34.
TheatreSquared's locally produced and nationally acclaimed productions reach 22,000 patrons each year. The company is Northwest Arkansas's only year-round professional theatre, offering a unique audience experience in its intimate 175-seat theatre at Walton Arts Center's Nadine Baum Studios. In 2011, TheatreSquared was recognized by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, as one of the nation's ten most promising emerging theatres.