Theatre in the Park Opens 2012-13 Season with NEXT TO NORMAL, 9/7

Theatre in the Park Opens 2012-13 Season with NEXT TO NORMAL, 9/7

The most powerful musical of the decade makes its Triangle debut at Theatre In The Park. Enchanting audiences worldwide with a thrilling contemporary pop rock score, Next to Normal delivers an emotional and hopeful story of the Goodman family as they cope through illness, loss, and grief.

Electrifying the New York stage in 2009, Next To Normal grabs at the heart and never lets it go. The Goodmans are your typical, normal American family – almost. Diana is a mother suffering through her internal pain while trying to find a way to resolve it. Children, Gabe and Natalie, are complete opposites, Gabe the golden boy and Natalie the rebellious teen. Meanwhile, Diana’s husband Dan is desperately trying to just hold the family together the best way he can. With much love, determination, and patience, the Goodman family discovers that even though they may not be “normal” they can be “next to normal.”

“Next To Normal is just such a genuinely human piece of drama. We often clamor to musical theatre to be taken on a journey far away from our own problems, but this show diverges from the beaten path of most commercial theatre,” says director Cody Cunningham. “It’s likely to reach an emotional chord that an audience usually doesn’t have to worry about protecting while enjoying a ‘Broadway musical.’ There’s an intimacy and vulnerability to it. The fact that it even ended up on Broadway is strange in many ways; certainly a gamble for the producers, but one that absolutely paid off. Marrying such true-to-life hardships to the rebellion of a contemporary rock score is key here. These characters live right here with us. These are real people with real problems and their beautiful story is one that so deserves to be shared.”

Cunningham has assembled an exceptional ensemble cast. Jessika Brust, last seen in Theatre In The Park’s A Christmas Carol as Mrs.Cratchit, is Diana Goodman. Ken Griggs is her solid-as-a-rock husband, Dan. The rest of the cast includes newcomer AaRon Miller as Gabe, Kelsey Walston as Natalie, Dalton Hood as Henry, and finally Kevin Ferguson as Dr. Madden and Dr. Fine.

Theatre In The Park is honored to have the esteemed Dr. Assad Meymandi provide a talk-back after the September 22nd performance. Please join us for this exciting and eye-opening event.

NEXT TO NORMAL is performed September 7-8; 13-15; & 21-22 at 7:30pm and September 9, 16, & 23 at 3:00pm. Performances are at Theatre In The Park in the Ira David Wood III Pullen Park Theatre. Ticket prices are $28 for adults, $22 for students and seniors over sixty. Reservations can be made online,, or by calling the Theatre In The Park box office, 919-831-6058. This production contains strong language.

Theatre In The Park, located in the northern end of Raleigh's scenic Pullen Park adjacent to North Carolina State University, has been entertaining audiences since 1947. Theatre In The Park is one of North Carolina's largest non-profit performing arts organizations and is acclaimed for its numerous outstanding theatrical achievements. Each season, Theatre In The Park presents an exceptional series of productions including the very best in comedy, original musicals, Shakespeare, and contemporary drama.


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