The Media Theatre Announces All-Star Cast for NEXT TO NORMAL
The Media Theatre has "Next To Normal" this season, January 31 through February 25, and it's the region's only production which features an entire Actors Equity Association cast. The all-star list is well known to theatergoers from Philadelphia to West Chester, as well as from Bucks, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
"Next To Normal", with a book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, deals with one suburban household's ability to cope with crisis and mental illness. The musical won three Tony Awards in 2009, including Best Score, as well as the Pulitzer Prize in 2010.
The musical is deeply moving and was chosen as 'one of the year's ten best shows' by major critics including from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.
In "Next To Normal", a mother who has been battling manic depression for 16 years must learn to deal with major crisis within The Family. An intense and heartfelt pop-rock musical, the show was hailed as being 'Brave and breathtaking' by The New York Times.
Krissy Fraelich will play the role of Diana, the mother of the household. Fraelich appeared on The Media Theatre stage previously in the power-house role of Mama Rose in "Gypsy", and had supporting roles in Media's "A Christmas Story: The Musical" as well as "The Addams Family". She previously played the role of Diane at The Arden Theatre, and among her other credits was in the National Tour of "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". Fraelich had the honor of performing under the music direction of Jason Robert Brown in his musical "Songs For A New World" at Symphony Space in NYC. She also was a member of the Broadway Gospel Choir and performed at Carnegie Hall.
Ben Dibble, a Barrymore Award winning actor, will portray her husband, Dan. He was John Adams in Media's "1776" two seasons ago, and most recently was seen at The Walnut Street Theatre in "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". Dibble has appeared on every major theatre in the Philadelphia region, in dozens of productions ranging from "A Year With Frog And Toad" to "Arsenic and Old Lace".
The role of Natalie, the daughter, will be performed by Molly Sorensen. She was seen in The Media Theatre's regional professional premiere of "The Bridges of Madison County: The Musical" in 2016. A past winner of the theatre's prestigious "Vocalist Junior" summer singing competition, the Malvern resident is now 16 years old.
Ronnie Keller will play the integral role of the brother, Gabe. Keller has been seen on The Media Theatre stage in Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" as well as "Side Show" and "West Side Story". He was recently seen in The Walnut Street Theatre's "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum", and has appeared on several regional stages.
Christopher Infantino, of Media, will take on the role O. Henry. He is thrilled to return home to The Media Theatre, where he studied as a child and teenager, after receiving a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee back in May 2017. Christopher has performed in Joseph...Dreamcoat (Reagle Music Theatre, Reuben), ZM (Goodspeed Opera House). You can find him teaching Flywheel in Bryn Mawr and Center City when not performing.
Doctor Fine and Doctor Madden will be brought to life by Patrick Ludt, who has been in over a dozen shows at The Media Theatre including "Jekyll And Hyde: The Musical", "My Fair Lady", "Side Show", and "A Christmas Story: The Musical". He has also appeared in several productions at Bucks County Playhouse and other regional theatres.
"Next To Normal" contains strong language and deals with mature subject matter. It is not recommended for children. The musical is on stage at The Media Theatre January 31 through February 25. Geoffrey Goldberg directs, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Tickets are on sale now at www.mediatheatre.org or by calling 610-891-0100.