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Major cast changes at 'Next to Normal'

'Next to Normal'
'Next to Normal'

Big changes will occur this week at the hit Broadway show Next to Normal.  The family trio including Tony Award-winning actress Alice Ripley, Tony nominee Jennifer Damiano and Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James, will do their final Broadway performances on Sunday, July 18.

Ripley and Damiano have been with the musical since its Off-Broadway premiere at Second Stage in 2008. D'Arcy James originated the role of family patriarch Dan Off-Broadway, but joined the musical adaptation of Shrek prior to Next to Normal's Broadway arrival. He returned to Next to Normal on May 17, 2010.  Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer replaced d'Arcy James for the Broadway run.

Ripley, earned a Tony Award for her portrayal of a mother struggling with mental illness.  She will star in the national tour of Next to Normal when it launches Nov. 23 in Los Angeles.

The new cast will include the real-life married couple Marin Mazzie  and Jason Danieley in the roles of Diana Goodman and her husband, Dan.  Understudy Meghann Fahy will succeed Jennifer Damiano in the role of the daughter, Natalie.

Next to Normal is an intense look at the effects of mental illness on a family.  The show is a musical with a score that continually develops the plot and leads to some surprising revelations.  See the articles linked below for more details.