Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage will open its 2012-2013 season with the area premiere of musical "Next to Normal," running from Friday, Oct. 19, to Sunday, Nov. 4, at its MTC Studio Theatre, 246 Post Road East.

With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, the play explores how a suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness, according to a release. It is directed by director Kevin Connors, the theater's executive artistic director and co-founder.

The cast is led by Ridgefield resident and actress Juliet Lambert Pratt as Diana, whose Broadway credits include Fantine in "Les Miserables," the Mistress in Stephen Sondheim's "Passion," and Rose in "Meet Me in St. Louis." She toured with Chita Rivera in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and Michael Crawford in "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber."

Joining Pratt includes Fairfield native Elissa DeMaria, making her debut at the theater as Natalie; Will Erat who recently appeared on Broadway in "Catch Me If You Can" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels;" Tommy Foster, who returns to the theater, where he appeared in "john & jen.;" and Logan Hart, who recently appeared in the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit "Broadway Bares XXII."

The cast is rounded out by theater alumnus Jacob Heimer of Westport as Henry. His New York City credits include "As You Like It" at Pulse Ensemble Theatre, "Spoon River" and readings at Second Stage.

The production team includes David Wolfson, music; Nicholas Schwartz, scenic design; John Anselmo, lighting; Diane Vanderkroef, costumes; and Jim Schilling, stage management.

The production, nominated for 11 Tony Awards, has won three for best original score, best orchestration and best performance by a leading actress in a musical for character Alice Ripley. It has also received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the release states.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, matinees at 4 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Each performance is followed by a wine and cheese reception where the audience may meet the actors and production team.

Tickets, $25 to $45, $5 off for seniors and students, are available at 203-454-3883 or