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NEXT TO NORMAL Pulitzer Winning Musical Opens At Actors' Playhouse

By: Jan. 06, 2012
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Award-winning Broadway Musical Next to Normal Opens at
Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre on Friday, January 20

 Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three 2009 Tony Awards®, Next to Normal explores how one suburban family copes with crisis. With powerful lyrics and an electrifying pop-rock score of more than 30 songs, this intense, emotional and ultimately hopeful musical aims right for the heart with its story of a family coming to terms with its past and bravely facing its future.

Actors' Playhouse is the first regional theatre in South Florida to produce the show following its long Broadway run and National Tour. Next to Normal will be presented at the Miracle Theatre from January 18 - February 12, 2012.

The most talked about new show on Broadway, Next to Normal is the acclaimed and compelling hit-musical "that pushes Broadway in new directions" (Rolling Stone). Next to Normal's surging score, with emotional book and lyrics, tells the story of one woman’s struggle with manic depression and the toll it takes on her family.

"Next to Normal is the most powerful and riveting piece of musical theatre written in the last decade," said Artistic Director David Arisco. "I'm extremely excited to follow in the footsteps of last year's August: Osage County with a production of another Pulitzer Prize-winning work. Our cast, band, design and creative team are more than up to the task of taking our South Florida audience on this electrifying musical journey."

Next to Normal features an impressive cast with strong ties to both the New York and South Florida theatre communities. Jodie Langel, playing Diana, premiered on Broadway as the role of Cosette in Les Miserables and later went on to play the role of Eponine. Now living back in South Florida, Langel's Broadway tour credits include the role of Bertrande in the Pre-Broadway tour of Martin Guerre, the Narrator in the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Grizabella in the National Tour of CATS. Mark Sanders, who was last seen as Perchik on the Broadway National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof, will play the role of Dan. Eddy Rioseco, a native Miami boy, will play the role of Gabe. Rioseco's New York shows include Fame (Nick), Mamma Mia (Pepper) and Wicked (Boq), with television/film credits that include "Parenthood" (recurring), "Hacienda Heights" (pilot) and "Chastity Bites" (lead), Sarah Amengual, playing Natalie, is thrilled to be back in her hometown and performing at Actors’ Playhouse following a move to NYC to take over the role of Maria in the Broadway production of West Side Story. Ben Liebert, a New York based actor taking on the role of Henry, has spent over two years playing Boq in Wicked, first on Broadway at the Gershwin Theater and then on the first National Tour. Rounding out the cast is Nick Duckart playing the roles of Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine. Duckart, who was last seen at Actors' Playhouse in the World Premiere of The Color of Desire by Nilo Cruz, has a list of prestigious credits including Evita (w/ Lauren Kennedy), Dr. Radio (Carbonell Award) and Farragut North(Carbonell Award).

Next to Normal features music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, and direction by David Arisco. The creative team also includes Gene Seyffer (set design), Ellis Tillman (costume design), Patrick Tennent (lighting design), and Alexander Herrin (sound design). Musical direction is by Eric Alsford.

Preview performances of Next to Normal will be held Wednesday and Thursday, January 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. The show will open on Friday, January 20 at 8 p.m. and play through February 12, 2012. Evening performances will be held Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with afternoon matinees on Sunday at 2 p.m. A special weekday matinee is scheduled on Wednesday, January 25 at 2 p.m.

A series of pre and post-show talkbacks to promote dialogue on mental wellness, lead by Next to Normal's cast members and a team of mental health professionals provided by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, are scheduled throughout the production run. Full details and a complete schedule outline will be available at

Preview night tickets on the first Wednesday and Thursday are $35. Tickets for weeknights and matinees are $40, and on Friday and Saturday evenings $48. The theatre offers a 10 percent senior discount rate the day of performance and $15 student rush tickets 15 minutes prior to curtain with identification. Discounts are based on availability and exclude Saturday and Sunday.

Group discounted rates are offered for 15 or more through their group sales department. Single tickets may be purchased through the box office at 305-444-9293 or online at  

This event is made possible with the support of Miami-Dade County with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, The Cultural Affairs Council, The Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, with Support of the City of Coral Gables, and by the following sponsors: Quality Inn South, University of Miami Health System, Comcast, NBC Miami and MegaTV.

Four-show flexible subscription packages are now available to the remainder of the 2011-2012 season for only $186; which includes: the international musical sensation that won Actors' Playhouse eight Carbonell Awards in 2001, including Best Musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (March 7 - April 8, 2012) with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice; the new comedy Becky's New Car (May 9 - June 3, 2012) by Steven Dietz, as well as the World Premiere of a manly musical revue called Real Men Sing Show Tunes and Play With Puppets (July 11 - August 12, 2012) by Paul Louis and Nick Santa Maria.

Actors’ Playhouse subscribers receive guaranteed best seating and pricing, lost ticket insurance, generous membership benefits to Coral Gables’ finest restaurants and discounts on single tickets, among other benefits. To become a part of the Miracle as an Actors’ Playhouse subscriber, call 305.444.9293 or order online at





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