Carrnivale Theatrics Presents Local Premiere Production of “Next to Normal” at New Hazlett Theater

Pittsburgh, PA, May 31, 2012 – Carrnivale Theatrics and Front Porch Theatricals are co-producing the first local production of the Broadway hit, Next To Normal, at the New Hazlett Theater on Pittsburgh’s Northside from June 22-July 1, 2012. Individual tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Discounted rates are available for seniors, students and groups. This contemporary pop/rock musical, with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, won three Tony Awards in 2009, including Best Score, as well as the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama.  With a thrilling contemporary score, Next to Normal is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other.

“This poignant, moving, sometime humorous and very popular musical also addresses sensitive issues that most individuals and families will find relatable,” says Justin Fortunato, the show’s director.

The six person cast and production crew are features Daina Michelle Griffith (Diana) and Michael Campayno (Gabe) in the lead roles. Other actors include: Erich Lascek (Dan), Magan Dee Yantko (Natalie), Kevin Bianchi (Henry), and Billy Hepfinger (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden).  The musical director is Robert (Bobby) Neumeyer. Distinguished Pittsburgh set designer Tony Ferrieri, who regularly designs for City Theatre and Quantum Theatre, and who has designed Carrnivale Theatrics’ prior productions, will serve as technical director.  He will be joined by Todd Nonn, lighting designer; Dave Bjornson, sound designer; Rich Preffer, costume designer; Maddie Bucci, scenic design; and Haley Dean, choreographer and assistant director.

The consortium producing Next to Normal is comprised of Carrnivale Theatrics and Front Porch Theatricals, with each group bringing unique and diverse talents to the table.  In their relatively short operating histories, they have each achieved community acclaim and artistic successes.

Carrnivale Theatrics was created in 2009 by Justin Fortunato and Bobby Neumeyer.  Over the past three years, they have produced/directed/music directed three full-scale musicals (Sweeney Todd, Ragtime and Into the Woods) at the New Hazlett Theater.  Carrnivale Theatrics is joined in this effort by Front Porch Theatricals, which was formed in 2008 by Bruce E. Smith and Leon S. Zionts.

“We are gratified by the support from the organized and private philanthropic and business sectors which are helping to make this production possible,” adds Justin. “Carrnivale Theatrics mission is threefold: to provide our region with professional quality musical theater productions utilizing Pittsburgh’s diverse actor and technical talent base, enriching and challenging our communities through the presentation of thought provoking subject matter, and contributing surplus production proceeds to local charitable organizations.”

Evening performances will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (June 22-23, and June 29-30), with an additional performance on Thursday, June 28th. Two matinees will be held on Sunday (June 24 and July 1). An opening night reception is planned ($35 including the show). Ticket prices are intended to encourage attendance ($25 per adult), with discounted rates for seniors, students and groups ($18). After show “Talkback” panel discussions with area health and mental health professionals and the cast are planned for June 24th and June 28th. For tickets, visit or call 1.888.71.TICKETS.

Additional information is available at, and

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