The line “Valium is my favorite color” was uttered on the Arkansas Rep stage in 2012 when the Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal was performed.
The show was a surprise winner of the 2010 Pulitzer for Drama. It had not been one of the three finalists selected by the jury, but was picked for the honor by the Pulitzer Board.
With music by Tom Kitt and a book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal is a powerful rock musical about a mentally ill suburban mom who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effects that illness has on her family.
The Arkansas Rep cast featured Deb Lyons as Diana — the mother of the family, Jonathan Rayson as her husband Dan, Kristin Parker and Will Holly as their children, Mo Brady as a friend of the family and Peter James Zielinski playing a pair of physicians.
Helen Gregory was the Musical Director. Other members of the creative team included Mike Nichols (scenic designer), Shelly Hall (costume designer), Michael J. Eddy (lighting designer), M. Jason Pruzin (sound designer) and Lynda J. Kwallek (properties designer).
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama being given. To pay tribute to 100 years of the Pulitzer for Drama, each day this month a different Little Rock production of a Pulitzer Prize winning play will be highlighted. Many of these titles have been produced numerous times. This look will veer from high school to national tours in an attempt to give a glimpse into Little Rock’s breadth and depth of theatrical history.