Vanguard Theater has announced the cast and creative team for its production of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Next to Normal,” which the theater describes as an “an unflinching look at a suburban family struggling with the effects of mental illness.”
The show will run from Nov. 11 through 21 Vanguard’s theater, located at 180 Bloomfield Ave.
Vanguard Theater is partnering with Darkness Rising, a mental health awareness nonprofit organization that offers free community wellness workshops geared toward people of color, and produces inspirational cover songs, visual albums and live concerts created by Black Broadway and theatre professionals, many who have experienced mental health conditions.
Vanguard’s Artistic Director Janeece Freeman Clark said in an announcement from the group said the theater’s experimental approach, with the cast of actors shifting, will be “part of an exciting process to explore how the narrative shifts with players of differing complexions.”
Erica Dorfler stars as Diana. Dorfler made her Broadway debut in the 2010 Tony Award‐winning hit “Memphis,” followed by the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award‐winning “The Book of Mormon,” and the original Broadway cast of “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.” Playing Dan is Lou Steele, whose regional credits include “Diner,” “Violet” and “Songs for a New World.”
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They will be joined by Josslyn Shaw and Racquel Williams, alternating as Natalie. Marcus Beckett and Charles Fusari will be alternating as Gabe. Aaron Bowes and Draytin Freude are alternating as Henry. Morgan Scott is Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine.
The creative team is led by Freeman Clark, with music direction by Alex Ratner.
Tickets are currently on sale now at vanguardtheatercompany.org