Previously announced, this electric production will star Queenie van de Zandt in the leading role of Diana Goodman, the matriarch of a modern-day family, traumatised by loss and the unpredictable affects sparked by her bipolar diagnosis. One of Australia’s most exciting stars of the stage, Queenie’s credits include King Kong (Global Creatures), Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Production Company), and Into The Woods (Victorian Opera).
Returning to the stage is Tyran Parke as Dan Goodman. After two decades gracing Australia’s stages in productions such as Sunday in the Park with George, Tick, Tick…Boom! and Anything Goes, Tyran more recently turned his attention to directing, with credits including Barnum The Musical (starring Todd McKenny), and the national tour of Chess (starring Natalie Bassingthwaighte). Tyran is also Head of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Musical Theatre Program.
Making their professional debuts are newcomers Sam Richardson (VCA) as Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Goodman, Melanie Bird (Showfit) as Natalie Goodman, and Liam Wigney (WAAPA) as Henry. Completing the cast as Dr Madden/Dr Fine is the incredibly talented Ross Chisari (Shrek the Musical, We Will Rock You, Ghost the Musical).
“We are excited to showcase some fresh faces and springboard both emerging and established Australian performers back onto the stage after what’s been a difficult year for the Arts,” said Producer James Terry. “During the casting process, our production team was spoilt for choice which was a great problem to have.”
“However, the outstanding vocal standard and deep connection of this cast to the characters is what really stood out for us. We cannot wait to see them bring this ‘electric’ score to life.”
Next to Normal with music by Tom Kitt, and Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey, is a powerful rock musical that grapples with the effects of trauma and mental illness. It was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, winning Best Original Score and Best Orchestration, followed by the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
This production will be directed by Mark Taylor (RENT, Bright Star) Choreographed by Freya List (RENT, Chess), and Musical Direction by Nathan Firmin (Bright Star, Memphis).
“While Next to Normal had its Broadway debut in 2009, its themes of mental health and our need for connection are just as relevant in 2021,” said Director Mark Taylor. “Despite some of the darkness of the story, this musical ultimately offers us hope and light – two things we need more than ever at the moment.”
Next to Normal
Chapel off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Season: 15 – 25 July 2021
For more information, visit: www.nexttonormal.com.au for details.
Image: (l-r top) Queenie van de Zandt, Tyran Parke and Melanie Bird / (l-r bottom) Sam Richardson, Liam Wigney and Ross Chisari (supplied)