REPRISE! Broadway's Best presents the second "Marvelous Musical Monday" performance of its 8th Season: A New Brain, featuring music and lyrics by William Finn, and music direction by Ed Martel. The staged reading stars Malcolm Gets in the role he created at N.Y.'s Lincoln Center. Directed by David Lee
The story of A New Brain is drawn from Finn's own life. Back in 1992, shortly after the successful opening of Falsettos on Broadway -- the culmination of years of work -- Finn suffered a brain seizure and was hospitalized. During this painfully difficult time, his doctors could not immediately pinpoint the cause of the seizure and were not sure if he would survive. Finn also feared that, even if he lived, he still might lose his ability to write.
From such dire source material came this surprisingly joyous and funny musical about songwriter Gordon Schwinn. Bolstered by the support of his mother, his boyfriend Roger and many others, Gordon finds the courage to confront his mortality and allow his doctors to perform the necessary surgery. In life and on stage, thankfully, there is a happy ending.
Finn recovered completely and this musical is a glorious rediscovery of his distinctive songwriting "voice", an exorcism of a painfully dark period, a coming-back to the world, with Finn writing in a freer and warmer way than ever before.