Mesa Encore Theater Stages NEXT TO NORMAL at Mesa Arts Center, Now thru 2/3

Mesa Encore Theatre announces the fourth show of their 76th season with the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning musical NEXT TO NORMAL at the Mesa Arts Center, tonight, January 25 - February 3, 2013.

NEXT TO NORMAL tells the story of a mother, Diana Goodman, who struggles with bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. 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.

NEXT TO NORMAL was nominated for eleven 2009 Tony Awards and won three, Best Original Score, Best Orchestration and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Alice Ripley. It won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming just the eighth musical in history to receive the honor. In awarding the prize to Tom Kitt (Music) and Brian Yorkey (Book and Lyrics), 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." The Broadway production closed on January 16, 2011 after 21 previews and 733 regular performances.

Arizona native Phillip Fazio returns from New York City where he permanently resides to direct the production. Mr. Fazio previously directed Mesa Encore Theatre's critically acclaimed productions of Ragtime, The Last Five Years, Rent, Cabaret, Proof, and West Side Story. His NYC credits include Gay Camp (FringeNYC and Fringe Encore), The Real Life (Identity Theatre Company), and Super Ben! (Think Theater). Andrew Kust provides music direction and leads the live band of six musicians.

All performances will be held at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, Mesa. Evening performances are tonight, January 25, 26, 31 and February 1, 2 at 7:30 pm. Matinee performances are January 27 and February 2, 3 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors/students/teachers. Tickets may be purchased through the Mesa Arts Center Box Office online at or at 480.644.6500. Directions to the theatre can be found on the MAC website as well. More information on Mesa Encore Theatre can be found at their website

Pictured: (From top left to right, bottom left to right) Melissa Rose Modifer, Kyle Bennett, Evan Tyler Wilson, Katie Frederick. Photo Credit: Sarah Rodgers.

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