NEXT TO NORMAL Returns for a Two-Weekend Run, 10/7-10/16

by Oliver Oliveros,

New York, October 2, 2011 -- When esteemed actress-director Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo visited the Big Apple a few months ago, she handed a copy of her latest CD album titled "Light," which contains recordings of some of the best Broadway musicals that she's been a part of; among the tracks, "Light" from Next to Normal, whose positive message of family survival overrides the general downward spiral themes of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, was reassuring, and which Yulo (Diana Goodman) has recorded with co-actors, Jett Pangan (Dan Goodman), Jake Macapagal (Dr. Madden), Felix Rivera (Gabe Goodman), Bea Garcia (Natalie Goodman), and Markki Stroem (Henry), became our instant favorite.

Unfortunately, we're missing out Next to Normal's return to Manila this month, but we're confident that Manila's theatergoers won't pass up the opportunity to experience the critically-acclaimed performances of its cast and the poignant direction of its director, Bobby Garcia, who also helmed the recent Asian premiere of In The Heights, and will soon find himself "neck-deep in work" for the Asian premiere of Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Garcia says in a statement that he's been "thrilled that we're restaging Next to Normal even though it's for a very limited repeat run (October 7-16 only at RCBC Theatre in Makati City). Its success was completely unexpected to us, and we thank the people who came to see the show during its first run, filling up our houses each night. This is a one-of-a-kind musical about the power of a family's love. It's a musical that has changed the lives of all of us involved in the production."

Next to Normal, which features music by Tom Kitt, and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, was the winner of three Tony Awards in 2009, including Best Original Score, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. The Manila production has set design by Lex Marcos, lighting design by Shoko Matsumoto, musical direction by Ceejay Javier, musical staging by Chari Arespacochaga, costume design by Twinkle Zamora, and vocal direction by ManMan Angsico.

For tickets, call Atlantis Productions at telephone numbers (632) 892-7078 or 840-1187 or visit

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