AIMÉE HAYES, PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
THEATRE NEWS * * * FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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April 19, 2013
New Orleans -Southern Rep Theatre concludes its 26th Season Mainstage Series with NEXT TO NORMAL with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Directed by Blake Coheley and musical direction by Jefferson Turner. Featuring: Leslie Castay, Richard Hutton, Madison Kerth, Clint Johnson, Matthew Thompson and Michael Krikorian.
"I have wanted to share NEXT TO NORMAL with New Orleans' audiences for some time with Leslie Castay as Diane, a suburban mom who doesn't quite fit the description of "normal." We have a tremendous cast and are thrilled to be working with director Blake Coheley and music director Jefferson Turner for the first time. This rocking musical will be a hilarious-until-it-starts-to-
-Aimée Hayes, Producing Artistic Director
NEXT TO NORMAL is a groundbreaking powerhouse musical and smash hit with Leslie Castay in a tour de force role! A heartbreaking but beautifully told story about a suburban mother's fight with mental illness and her family's attempt to hold it all together for her and themselves. With an exciting contemporary score and thrilling lyrics, this prize-winning musical strives to understand what "normal" means in an unknowable, complicated world. The production runs between May 15 and June 9.
"Most good stories deal with two things, relationships and sacrifices. Next to Normal is one musical that pulls at the very heartstrings of both of those dramatic elements. As a Pulitzer Prize winner piece making its southern regional debut, and with the power house, Leslie Castay at the lead, I am ready to take on the challenges of the Goodman family life and present this powerful story to the audiences of Southern Rep. With a rocking lyrical score, a story that spirals out of control, a very talented and energetic cast, and a design team that will set new standards, this show is simply going to ROCK!"
-Blake Coheley, Director
Attention All Bloggers! Join us for The Night of Bloggers and Social Entrepreneurs! Our Thursday, May 16, Preview Performance welcomes local bloggers to attend the show on us. If your publication or business has a blogger on staff, send them our way and we will have two tickets waiting for them. Please contact our Box Office at 504.522.6545 to take advantage of this special offer. This offer is only good for the May 16 performance.
Attention All Social Entrepreneurs! If your company promotes positive social change, contact our Box Office at 504.522.6545 for a special discounted rate to our preview performance on Thursday, May 16.
Special NAMI Night! Our Friday, May 17, Preview Performance is NAMI Night, which will feature a talkback after the show about mental health issues with $5 of each ticket sold to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Pay What You Can Night! Thursday, May 23, 7:30pm is Southern Rep's Pay What You Can performance.
Watch our special webisode series and follow the cast as they come together to create NEXT TO NORMAL! New Episodes appearing weekly starting April 23. Watch online at www.southernrep.com. Also, follow the cast on Twitter at #N2NOLA
Promotional materials including a trailer and promotional shots can be found online at www.southernrep.com
The Big Easy award-winning design team includes Set Design by Bill Walker; Lighting Design by Dan Zimmer; Sound Design by David Rigamer; Costume design by Kerry Brown Richard; and Prop Design by Carla Roveto.
Leslie Castay starred in Southern Rep's productions of THE CLEAN HOUSE and in the award winning co-production of GREY GARDENS at Le Petit Theatre, (Big Easy award- Best Actress in a musical). Leslie lived and worked in NYC for many years and appeared on Broadway in 42nd STREET, 3PENNY OPERA, GUYS AND DOLLS and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. She was featured in the National Tours of ANNIE, CATS, and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, several off-Broadway productions and as a soloist at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops. She made her cabaret debut at the late great Le Chat Noir in her acclaimed one woman show, LESLIE CASTAY...UNSCRIPTED. Leslie starred and directed (Big Easy Award) the New Orleans production of MUSICAL OF MUSICALS at Le Chat Noir, and has appeared in many productions at Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre (CHICAGO, COMPANY...) and Le Petit Theatre. Leslie played a recurring role in the USA TV series "Common Law" and can be seen on the big screen in the film "Beautiful Creatures" as Principal Herbert.
Richard Hutton has worked with many theatre companies around the Greater New Orleans area. He recently starred in Tulane Summer Lyric's SOUTH PACIFIC and MAN OF LA MANCHA winning Big Easy awards for both. At Southern Rep Theatre, Richard has appeared in many Southern Rep new play development works such as its 6x6 and 3x3 events.
Madison Lee Kerth is a freshman at NOCCA. She spent two years in the role of Annie in the 30th Anniversary National Tour of ANNIE THE MUSICAL under the direction of Martin Charnin. She has appeared regionally in CARNIVAL (U/S Rosalie), FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Schprinteze), FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY (Strawberry), LA BOHEME (Chorus/Ensemble) , as well as, many other great local productions and cabarets. She was recently chosen as a "Special Guest" for the Broadway Revival of ANNIE at BAA in NYC and a proud nominee of the 2009 Big Easy Foundation and Storer Boone awards for "Best Performance by a Child" for her role as Annie at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre.
Clint Johnson won second place in the English Speaking Union's National Shakespeare Competition in New York City, at the age of eighteen, where he competed against high-school students from all over the country. His credits include: COUNTRY TONITE THEATRE (Featured Youth Performer), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Claudio), AS YOU LIKE IT (Charles/Amiens), TWELFTH NIGHT (Aguecheek), and MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Puck) with the Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall, KING ISLAND CHRISTMAS (The Oomiak) at New York State Theatre Institute directed by Pat Birch, THE NEW YORK RENAISSANCE FAIRE (Alan-a-Dale); IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY (Leo) at Southern Rep Theatre, TWELFTH NIGHT (Feste) and JULIUS CEASAR (Lucius) at Tulane Shakespeare Festival, LET FREEDOM SWING (Joey), ISLAND BREEZES (Mickey Rooney) and MY WAY: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA (Man 2) at The Stage Door Canteen. Clint can also be seen singing with his band The Kitchen Sink at music venues around New Orleans.
Matthew Thompson is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. He had been acting professionally as a child and teen before receiving his BFA in Theatre Studies from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. After graduation, Matthew relocated to Los Angeles where some of his favorite theatre credits include: SLOW DANCE ON THE KILLING GROUND (The Lounge Theatre), PRINCESS BEAN'S MESSY WORLD (The Electric Lodge), A PRAYER FOR MY DAUGHTER (Crown City Theatre - LA Weekly Award Nominee, Backstage West Garland Award Nominee) and I'M JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY (Crown City Theatre - Stage Scene LA Award Winner). His film and television credits include "All That" (Nickelodeon), "Drake and Josh" (Nickelodeon), "Tru Loved" (Regent Releasing), "Mad World" (Breaking Glass Pictures), and "3 Times A Charm" (STARZ/Encore). Since his arrival to New Orleans last August, he has appeared alongside Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Steve Zahn in the locally shot feature film "The Dallas Buyer's Club," and had two original 10-minute plays produced as part of Southern Rep's 6x6 series.
Michael Krikorian, originally from Rockwall, Texas, received his BA in Musical Theater from Ouachita Baptist University and has performed in numerous productions around the city. He was most recently seen in the Harm's Way Theater production of BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON.
For photo requests or interviews with cast, directors or designers or Producing Artistic Director, Aimée Hayes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT TO NORMAL with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. Directed by Blake Coheley and musical direction by Jefferson Turner. Featuring: Lesley Castay, Richard Hutton, Madison Kerth, Clint Johnson, Matthew Thompson and Michael Krikorian.
Show runs from May 15th-June 9th.
The Freeport-McMoRan Theater at The Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp Street, New Orleans LA.
Curbside, metered parking is availble on nearby streets (FREE on Sundays, holidays, and everyday after 6pm). Parking is also available in nearby Premium Parking lots (please pay with cash or credit card at machine in lots)
A groundbreaking powerhouse musical and smash hit with Leslie Castay in a tour de force role! A heartbreaking but beautifully told story about a suburban mother's fight with mental illness and her family's attempt to hold it all together for her and themselves. With an exciting contemporary score and thrilling lyrics, this prize-winning musical strives to understand what "normal" means in an unknowable, complicated world.
Southern Rep Theatre enters its 26th Season as the region's premiere professional theatre and continues to produce bold world and regional premieres under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director, Aimée Hayes. In addition to Southern Rep's ongoing commitment to new play development with exciting programs like the 6X6 Play Slam and its PlayLab, DEBAUCHERY, and our new play award for women of color playwrights, The Ruby Prize, the company's Mainstage work includes the best of Broadway, off-Broadway and classic plays. Southern Rep Theatre offers educational programs such as YO NOLA, free student matinees, $10 student rush tickets and Academy SRT; as well as providing an artistic home to new works in development in the annual NEW PLAY BACCHANAL.