Next To Normal started life Off-Broadway at the 2nd Stage theater. It was a great show, but not the GREAT show it would become. It worked hard, and needed some more fine tuning before it made it to Broadway.
Well, it was done in Washington after the New York OB run before heading back to Broadway. And the cast worked hard to get it back. Missing at the Broadway premiere however, was Brian d'Arcy James as the father. He was committed to Shrek. In an interesting aside, both Brian d'Arcy James as Shrek AND J. Robert Spencer as Dan (the father in Next to Normal) were nominated for the Tony for Best Lead Male in a Musical. (It was won by the boys from Billy Elliot.)
Starting May 17th, Brian d'Arcy James will return to the role he originated in Next to Normal, as Dan. It should be a fun time.
In other amazing news, Next to Normal, now a certified Broadway Hit, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Congrats.