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Jonathan Groff, Ana Gasteyer, and William Finn on How an Inoperable Tumor Inspired A New Brain

The 1998 musical returns to the Big Apple via City Center Encores! Off-Center. logo

In the early 1990s, songwriter William Finn was riding the wave of success of his Tony-winning musical Falsettos when he was struck down with an inoperable brain tumor. His experiences in the hospital (and the fact that the growth wasn't so inoperable after all) would go on to inspire his and James Lapine's 1998 off-Broadway musical A New Brain. Seventeen years after it premiered at Lincoln Center Theater, the show is preparing for its New York return, in an Encores! Off-Center production at City Center starring Jonathan Groff, Ana Gasteyer, and Tony winner Dan Fogler. TheaterMania spoke with Finn and the cast about how this harrowing experience ended up making great theater.