Yesterday, it was announced that Next To Normal -- a musical from Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey -- will turn things upside down on the Great White Way when it lands this April 15 at the Longacre Theatre.
According to The New York Times, the production will take the unprecedented step of purposely reducing the number of seats to provide a more intimate atmosphere. The capacity will be reduced from 1100 to just 820. Producer David Stone says:
We want an 800-seat theater but none were available, and this is a very emotional play and I’m a big believer in creating the theater space you need.
Given this economy, you have to give the guy credit.
While Michael Greif (Rent and Grey Gardens) will once again direct the tuner, as he did Off-Broadway and at the DC area's Arena Stage, there's no word on casting other than a reference in the Times piece describing the musical:
The musical, budgeted at $4 million, centers on a woman with bipolar
disorder (played by the Tony nominee Alice Ripley) and the impact of her illness
and her treatment on her family.
Presumably, this will go on without Brian d'Arcy James, who's already appearing on Broadway in Shrek The Musical. Stay tuned for more details.
UPDATED (2.25.09, 9:10 a.m. EST): According to Playbill.com, the entire cast from Arena Stage -- Alice Ripley, J. Robert Spencer, Aaron Tveit, Jennifer Damiano, Adam Chanler-Berat and Louis Hobson -- will return to their roles at the Booth Theatre instead of the Longacre.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).