Jake Ziman plays Gabe, Donna Louden is Diana, Barry DeBois plays Dan, and Angel Alzeidan is Natalie in Paramount’s 2023-24 BOLD Series opener Next to Normal. Photo by Amy Nelson.

Prepare to be spellbound by the award-winning musical Next to Normal, playing July 26-September 3, 2023 in Paramount Theatre’s intimate new Copley Theatre in downtown Aurora.

Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, nominated for 11 Tony Awards and winner for Best Musical Score, Next to Normal is thrilling, courageous and timely storytelling at its best, all set to a contemporary rock music score.

It’s also an ideal show to set the tone for the second season of Paramount’s BOLD Series, a three-play line-up of classic and contemporary works for those who crave live theater that is intimate, honest, fervent and emotionally intoxicating.

Helming Next to Normal is Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti. Today, Paramount announced the cast for this powerful rock musical about a suburban family grappling with mental illness.

Donna Louden, an accomplished L.A. musical theater actor new to Chicago, makes her Paramount debut as Diana. Barry DeBois, so memorable as the male lead, Guy, in Paramount’s Once, and more recently in Paramount’s Kinky Boots, plays the father, Dan. Angel Alzeidan, fresh off Goodman Theatre’s Layalina, makes her Paramount debut as Natalie, the daughter. Devin DeSantis, a Paramount favorite after playing Tommy in The Who’s Tommy, and subsequent lead roles in Into the Woods, Kinky Boots, The Little Mermaid, plays Dr. Madden/Dr. Fine. Aurora native Jake Ziman, who performed in Paramount’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Fiddler on the Roof, returns as Gabe, the son. Jake DiMaggio Lopez, seen last season in Paramount’s The Sound of Music, plays Natalie’s love interest, Henry. Understudies are Michelle Tibble, Simon Keiser, Emily Ling Mei and Andrew Sickel.

Previews start July 26, including two Pay-What-You-Can Previews, Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, July 29 at 2 p.m. Press openings are Wednesday and Thursday, August 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. Performances continue through September 3: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Note: Next to Normal contains mature language, recreational drug use and mental health topics.

Subscribe now to Paramount’s 2023-24 three-play BOLD Series package for the best seats to Next to Normal, and the lowest ticket prices. Packages start at just $75, including Next to Normal, plus the recent Broadway sensation What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck (October 4-November 12, 2023), and Tennessee Williams’s classic A Streetcar Named Desire (March 13-April 21, 2024).

Single tickets to Next to Normal are $40-$55 and go on sale June 2. For subscriptions, single tickets and information, visit paramountaurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until show time on show days. All BOLD Series productions are presented in Paramount’s newly renovated Copley Theatre, a sleek, state-of-the-art, 165-seat theater with a modern new lobby bar and lounge, located at 8 E. Galena Blvd., in downtown Aurora.

Access Services

Paramount will offer an American Sign Language interpreted performance on Friday, September 1 at 8 p.m. Paramount offers assistive listening devices free of charge at all performances. Check in at the box office before the show to borrow a listening device. If you require wheelchair or special seating or other assistance, please contact the box office at (630) 896-6666 or boxoffice@paramountarts.com in advance. 

Header photo: Jake Ziman plays Gabe, Donna Louden is Diana, Barry DeBois plays Dan, and Angel Alzeidan is Natalie in Paramount’s 2023-24 BOLD Series opener Next to Normal. Photo by Amy Nelson. 


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Next to Normal: Exploring mental illness through theater

Meet the Goodmans. From outside, they are just another normal suburban family. Inside? They’re anything but. Diana, the mother, suffers from bipolar disorder, and her struggles with delusions and depression are affecting everyone in her family. Her husband, Dan, longs for the wife he once knew and to get his family back to “Better than Before.” Diana’s daughter, Natalie, tries to cope but feels like an “Invisible Girl.” With the help of psychiatrist Dr. Madden, Diana and her family hope there’s a “Light in the Dark.” But, the meaning of “Just Another Day” is different for everyone. How far will two parents go to keep their family’s world intact?

Find out when Paramount’s Jeff Award-winning Artistic Director Jim Corti helms Next to Normal, backed by an award-winning team of top Chicago actors and designers.

“The BOLD Series is as much about the conversation after the show as it is about the shows themselves,” said Jim Corti. "Opening Season two, Next to Normal pulls no punches for those who can see themselves, or someone they love, in this story. The Goodman family experiences the fight of their lives. What they ultimately win for all of us to benefit from is: Hope.”

Corti’s production team for Next to Normal includes Lexie Bailey, choreographer; Kory Danielson, music director and supervisor; Celia Villacres, conductor; Michelle Lilly, scenic designer; Yvonne Miranda, costume designer; Cat Wilson, lighting designer; Eric Backus, sound designer; Aimee Plant, properties designer; and Ethan Deppe, electronic music designer; Creg Sclavi, associate director; Cameron Tragesser, associate conductor; and Madeline M. Scott, stage manager.

Next to Normal - book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, music by Tom Kitt - had numerous workshop productions before landing off-Broadway where it ran for nearly a year at Arena Stage before opening on Broadway in April of 2009. It was nominated for 11 Tony Awards that year and won three: Best Original Score, Best Orchestration and Best Performance by a Leading Actress for Alice Ripley. It also won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming only the eighth musical in history to receive the honor, hailed by the Pulitzer Board as “a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals."