Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Atlantis Productions brings Next to Normal to Manila--March 2011

Atlantis Productions, which celebrated its 2010 Season with hit productions of “Avenue Q,” “Legally Blonde,” “Xanadu” and the Manila and Singapore runs of “A Little Night Music,'” opens its 2011 Season with the Tony Award- and Pulitzer-Prize winning rock musical “Next to Normal,” set to run March 11-27, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (as Diana), one of Philippine musical theater’s most accomplished actresses, and rock star/theater actor Jett Pangan (as Dan) star in this production. They take on two of the most demanding roles written for musical theater, originated on the Broadway stage by Tony Award-winning actress Alice Ripley and J.Robert Spencer.

Other cast members include Felix Rivera as Gabe, Bea Garcia as Natalie and Markki Stroem as Henry.

In “Next to Normal,” Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book/lyrics) puts a woman’s lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder and depression center stage--in a musical. The two earned the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for their work.

“Without 'Rent' and Stephen Sondheim, there is no 'Next to Normal,'” Kitt and Yorkey said, in an interview with following their Pulitzer Prize win.

“We’ve always been moved and inspired to write material that maybe says something a little different through musical theater. I think at the very beginning, when we set out to write this, we just wanted to write something that mattered to us, something that felt maybe that it hadn’t been explored in musical theater before. But never could we have imagined in our wildest dreams that we’d be here.”

Fresh from his critically acclaimed staging of “A Little Night Music” in Manila and Singapore, Bobby Garcia directs the Manila production of “Next to Normal,” which is the first licensed English language production outside the United States.

Garcia says, “I am thrilled that Atlantis is opening 2011 with a show as groundbreaking and as powerful as 'Next to Normal.' It is one of the most unlikely hit musicals to have ever opened on a Broadway stage, and I am thrilled we will get to create our own unique family for this production. When I saw 'Next to Normal' off-Broadway two years ago and on Broadway last year, I was once again excited for the future of musical theater.”

The Manila production is presented through a special licensing agreement with Music Theater International.

Shows are also now available for show-buying and fund-raising opportunities with excellent returns on investment. It is the perfect show to raise money for one's organization, foundation or charity.

“Next to Normal” runs March 11-27, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. For information, call Atlantis Productions 8927078 or 8401187.

[Image from Overtures and Finales]

PLUS: Original Broadway cast members Alice Ripley, J. Robert Spencer and Aaron Tveit perform two numbers from the musical at the 2009 Tony Awards.

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