Weston Playhouse's NEXT TO NORMAL with Heidi Blickenstaff to Open 7/11

Weston Playhouse's NEXT TO NORMAL with Heidi Blickenstaff to Open 7/11

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Next to Normal hits the Weston Playhouse's MainStage on July 11 with an all-star cast for what is sure to be a heart-wrenching, spine-tingling theatre experience. Written almost entirely in song, Next to Normal earned the 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical Score. With a national reputation of delivering superb new musicals to its audience, Weston was able to secure both a director and a leading lady with substantial Broadway credits, abundant talent and real passion for the piece.

Written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal pulls back the facade of a suburban American family dealing with contemporary issues that millions among us can relate to. It is the story of Diana, a wife and mother who struggles with bi-polar disorder, and the hardships her condition poses on her family. The strength of each character, the sense of familial obligation and an overriding love for one another makes for an ultimately tender and uplifting story.

Weston entertainment-seekers will delight in the supremely talented cast and crew assembled for this Vermont premiere. Next to Normal is currently in rehearsal under the direction of Michael Berresse, who recently served as director/choreographer of the Broadway musical [title of show] for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award.

Says Berresse of the upcoming production, "With its pulse-pounding, heart stirring score and an extraordinary cast of six top-drawer musical theatre performers... I am confident that the struggle, humor and heart that is Next to Normal will excite and inspire both a new generation of theatre-goers and loyal patrons alike."

Diana is played by Heidi Blickenstaff whose Broadway credits include roles in [title of show], The Addams Family, The Little Mermaid, and The Full Monty. The husband, Dan, is played by Aaron Ramey, recently on Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde. Rounding out the cast are David Ayers and Etai BenShlomo (both in Broadway's Wicked,) and two actors whose credits include recent runs in Weston -- Margo Seibert wowed audiences in the world premiere of Pregnancy Pact and Dan DeLuca was a member of Weston's 2012 Young Company.

The five piece orchestra will be led under the musical direction of the 2009 Young Composer of the Year, Ryan Fielding Garrett. Sound design, by Ed Chapman. With scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Jennifer Caprio, and lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, the production will look as good as it sounds. Holding the entire cast and crew together is expert stage manager Martin Lechner.

This is a show not to be missed! Performances run July 11-July 27. Tuesday - Saturday at 7:30; with afternoon matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets start at just $25 and are available at the Playhouse Box Office, by telephone at (802) 824-5288, or online. More of Michael Berresse's comments, and a complete schedule of upcoming shows and events can be found at www.westonplayhouse.org.

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