“Next to Normal” Musical Explores Life with Mental Illness Coming to Arsht Center March 16-April 9

Miami, FL – February 17, 2023 – Zoetic Stage (@ZoeticStageMIA) and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@arshtcenter) are proud to present the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning NEXT TO NORMAL, a deeply moving musical about the effects of mental illness on a suburban family. The musical features an all-local cast and will run in the Arsht Center’s intimate Carnival Studio Theater from March 16-April 9, 2023.

Tickets to NEXT TO NORMAL are $60 and $65*. Tickets may be purchased at the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org.

Zoetic Stage will continue their Second Sunday Talkback series immediately following the matinee performance on Sunday, March 15 with special guest Victoria Gray, licensed social worker and clinical assistant professor at FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, on the themes of grief and mental health.

PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor of the 2022-2023 THEATER UP CLOSE series; WLRN is the media sponsor. The Arsht Center’s THEATER UP CLOSE series gratefully acknowledges the founding support of Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen. Funding Arts Network is a supporter of Zoetic Stage.

Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score, and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, NEXT TO NORMAL was also chosen as one of the year’s 10 best shows by critics at publications across the country, including The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington PostRolling Stone and The New York Times.

“Zoetic Stage is immensely excited as presenting Next to Normal to the South Florida community,” said Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer. “Since its Broadway premiere, the story, music and book have wowed audiences all over the world. Our version of this beloved musical will be as inventive, exciting and will have that Zoetic Stage stamp on it.”

Dad’s an architect. Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal. Their daughter and son are bright, wisecracking teens. They appear to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal, because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years. NEXT TO NORMAL takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart.

NEXT TO NORMAL features an all-local cast led by five-time Carbonell Award-winner Jeni Hacker (Diana). Hacker most recently won a Carbonell Award for her roles as Mrs. Lovett in Zoetic Stage’s productions of Sweeney Todd; Helen in Fun Home; Fosca in Passion; and Connie in After. Other credits include Grindr Mom (Carbonell winner – Best Actress)and Everything is Super Great, TheatreLab; The Camp, Boca West Theater (Carbonell Nominee Best Supporting Actress); Choreographer, Once (Carbonell Nominee Best Choreography), Noises OffIt Shoulda Been YouRuthless! The Musical, Actor’s Playhouse.

 Ben Sandomir (Dan) is an alumnus of Florida Atlantic University and last worked with Zoetic Stage in their production of Fun Home. Recent acting credits include: Tommy Korman in Honeymoon in Vegas, Nick Bottom in Something Rotten, and the world premiere of A Wonderful World with Miami New Drama.

Nate Promkul (Gabe) is a South Florida based actor and graduate of New World School of the Arts. Some of his recent favorite credits include Anthony Hope (Sweeney Todd, Zoetic Stage, Lead Vocalist (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, Unigram Productions) and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (Jekyll & Hyde, Colony Theater).

Gabi Gonzalez (Natalie) is thrilled to be making her Zoetic Stage debut! Born and raised in Miami, Gonzalez is a graduate of New World School of the Arts (NWSA). Recent credits include Evita, Suncoast Broadway Theater; Parade, Louise O. Gerritts Theater; Shrek the Musical, Miami Stage Company; Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Lake Worth Playhouse.

Joseph Morell (Henry) is a recent graduate of The Boston Conservatory at Berklee as well as a NWSA alumni. He is thrilled to be making his Zoetic Stage debut. Previous credits include: Boston Conservatory – Rent, Candide, Fugitive Songs; Area Stage Company – American IdiotHeathersWizard of Oz , Into the Woods.

Robert Koutras (Doctor Madden/Doctor Fine) is thrilled to join the Zoetic Stage family. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and is currently developing his own original musical titled The End.  Select Florida theater credits include: Rotterdam, Island City Stage; Head Over Heels, Slow Burn; Camelot and Bright Star, TheatreZone; Mamma Mia!, The Wick Theatre; and Parade, Broward Stage Door (Carbonell Award nominee).

The creative team for NEXT TO NORMAL is led by Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer and includes scenic design by David Goldstein; lighting design by Preston Bircher; sound design by Matt Corey; costume design by Marina Pareja; and properties design by Natasha Hernandez.

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