Press Room

PTC PRESENTS NEXT TO NORMAL

Sept 1, 2011                                                                        
For: IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Kirsten Park
801-581-6270
 
Pioneer Theatre Company Presents
NEXT TO NORMAL
Music by Tom Kitt. Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Pioneer Theatre Company presents the Utah Premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical, Next to Normal.
Next to Normal, also winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, has earned accolades around the world for its tender, insightful, funny and heart-breaking portrayal of a family trying bravely to come to terms with life, love, and loss.
The Goodmans seem like a perfect family. The only problem is that sometimes mother Diana seems, well…a little too happy, and we soon find out why. Her husband Dan worries all the time. Their daughter Natalie is intent on getting a scholarship to Yale and leaving home. And their son Gabe, well…that’s another story entirely.

“I saw Next to Normal in New York City two years ago and was just blown away,” says PTC Artistic Director Charles Morey. “The audience was a surprising mix of young people along with more traditional theatregoers, and everyone was openly weeping at the end. Next to Normal is a show that affects people like nothing I’ve seen on Broadway in years.”

The principal cast is comprised of JUDY MCCLANE as Diane, JONATHAN RAYSON as Dan,EPHIE AARDEMA as Natalie, MATT DANGLERas Gabe, ALEX BRIGHTMAN as Henry, andBEN CRAWFORD in the roles of Dr. Fine and Dr. Madden.

On hiatus from playing Tanya in Broadway’s Mamma Mia, JUDY MCCLANE’s other Broadway credits include Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Aspects of Love, and Chess. Her national and international tours include Into the Woods, Big,  and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She also received critical acclaim for her performance as Vienna in the musical Johnny Guitar (Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical) and can be heard on the cast recording for that show. This is her PTC debut.

JONATHAN RAYSON plays Diana’s husband Dan. His Broadway roles include Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) and A Year with Frog and Toad. His national tour roles include Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) and Legally Blonde (Aaron, Emmet understudy). EPHIE AARDEMA as the over-achieving daughter Natalie makes her PTC debut. Her national tours include Fiddler on the Roof (Chava) and The Sound of Music (Liesl).

BEN CRAWFORD plays the roles of Drs. Fines and Madden. His Broadway credits include Les Misèrables (Javert/Valjean understudy) as well as Shrek in Shrek the Musical. This is his PTC debut.

MATT DENGLER plays Gabe, the son with a secret. His roles on Broadway include A Little Night Music (Henrik us/swing). Dengler made his Carnegie Hall debut this spring as a soloist honoring Bob Hope.

Playing the daughter’s suitor Henry is ALEX BRIGHTMAN. He has spent the last two years as Boq on Broadway’s Wicked. This is his PTC debut. Other Broadway credits include Glory Days.

KAREN AZENBERG opens PTC’s season directing and choreographing this production, soon after directing last season’s closing musical RENT. In New York City, Azenberg directed Blocks(an early work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Jonathan Larson), as well as The Soup Comes Lastby Rachel Lampert at 59E59 Theatre, among others. Azenberg is current president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

LARRY GOLDBERG returns to PTC to music direct and conduct the production. He previously music directed PTC’s productions of My Fair Lady and The Producers. Goldberg was most recently on Broadway, as conductor, in: How to Succeed in Business (with Daniel Radcliffe), The Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Phantom of the Opera, and Carousel; and as keyboardist in: Anything Goes, Young Frankenstein, Guys and Dolls, and Gypsy. His national tours include musical direction for South Pacific, The Producers, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard and Cats.

Assisting the Director is SDC Observer NEAL KOWALSKY. Kowalsky recently co-directedThieves, a Native American play, at The Public Theater. He has worked at The Mac-Haydn Theatre as a Stage Manager and Assistant Director, and The Papermill Theatre as Children’s Theatre Artistic Director.

Scenic design is by PTC resident set designer GEORGE MAXWELL, who most recently designed last season’s RENT. Favorite PTC designs include Chicago, Les Misérables,Metamorphoses, Enchanted April, The Importance of Being Earnest, West Side Story, Proof,Peter Pan, Noises Off, Man of La Mancha, Aint Misbehavin’, The Foreigner, and Miss Saigon. George is a member of United Scenic Artists.

CAROL WELLS-DAY, costume designer, is one of PTC’s resident costume designers and the costume shop supervisor. Her recent designs for PTC include Sunset Boulevard, Black Comedy,Dracula, Sunset Boulevard, Black Comedy, Dracula, Twelve Angry Men, Is He Dead?, Dial M for Murder and more. She was assistant designer for Inherit the Wind at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C. and worked for the Utah Shakespearean Festival for 13 years as a costume shop supervisor and designer.

Lighting design is by guest designer MICHAEL GILLIAM. Gilliam returns to PTC after designing for last season’s RENT, and previously A Chorus Line and Romeo & Juliet. His Broadway credits include Brooklyn, Big River and Stand-Up Tragedy. He also designed for the national tours of Brooklyn, Guys and Dolls and Big River.

Hair and makeup design (including wigs) is by PTC resident designer AMANDA FRENCH; sound design is by PTC resident designer MATTHEW TIBBS.

Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s premier resident professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features. 

 
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MEDIA RECEPTION: A media reception will be held Tuesday, September 6, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 E., SLC. Media will have an opportunity to interview cast and members of the artistic team one-on-one in the lobby of the theatre. Cameras will be allowed in the rehearsal hall to record a segment of a live rehearsal after the meet-and-greet (filming is limited to 30 minutes; no more than 3 minutes of any recorded portion of the performance shall be broadcast, nor may edited footage shown depict an entire scene or musical number).
 
MEDIA PHOTO SHOOT: There will be a media photo shoot on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 E., SLC. Please emailkirsten.park@ptc.utah.edu to RSVP.
 
PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Wednesday, September 7, 2011 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to http://www.pioneertheatre.org/press-room/media-photos/
 
TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during Preview or Opening Night for press use can be arranged. Call 801-581-6270.
 
INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call 801-581-6270.
 
PRESS TOURS: Tours of the set for the press are available. Call 801-581-6270.
 
WHO:            
Pioneer Theatre Company
 
WHAT:         
Next to Normal
Music by Tom Kitt. Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Winners of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Contains strong language and themes.

 

WHEN:         
September 16 through October 1, 2011
 
TIMES:         
Mondays – Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.
 
WHERE:      
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City
 
PRICE:         
$36 – $57 ($5 more day of show)
Children in grades K – 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays
 
MORE INFO:           
Box Office (801) 581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon – Fri
 
CAST:
 
Ephie Aardema*………………………………………………… Natalie
Alex Brightman*……………………………………………….. Henry
Ben Crawford*………………………………………………….. Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden
Matt Dengler*…………………………………………………… Gabe
Judy McClane*…………………………………………………. Diana
Jonathan Rayson*……………………………………………… Dan


ARTISTIC TEAM:
 
Director/Choreographer……………………………………… Karen Azenberg
Music Director………………………………………………….. Larry Goldberg
Set Designer……………………………………………………… George Maxwell
Costume Designer……………………………………………… Carol Wells-Day
Lighting Designer……………………………………………… Michael Gilliam
Sound Designer………………………………………………… Matthew Tibbs
Hair & Makeup Designer…………………………………… Amanda French
SDC Observer…………………………………………………… Neal Kowalsky
 
* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.