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New Brain, A - Full Length Musical, Drama

New Brain, A

William Finn, James Lapine

Customer Rating: starstarstarstarstar (Rate this!)

Full Length Musical, Drama

6m, 4f

ISBN: 9780573627132

Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by William Finn and James Lapine
"Jaunty [with] moments of captivating eccentricity." - The New York Times

"Apt and original...A fascinating story." - The New York Post

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Description

Full Length Musical

Drama

105 Minutes

Time Period - Contemporary

Settings Of Play - A hospital room.

FEATURES / CONTAINS

Interior Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

TARGET AUDIENCE

Adult

PERFORMANCE GROUP

High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

RECOGNITION / AWARDS

From Off-Broadway

By the Tony-award winning authors of Falsettos, here is an energetic, sardonic, often comical musical about a composer during a medical emergency. Gordon collapses into his lunch and awakes in the hospital surrounded by his maritime-enthusiast lover, his mother, a co-worker, the doctor and the nurses. Reluctantly, he had been composing a song for a children's television show that features a frog - Mr. Bungee - and the spectre of this large green character and the unfinished work haunts him throughout his medical ordeal. What was thought to be a tumor turns out to be something more operable and Gordon recovers, grateful for a chance to compose the songs he yearns to produce.

REVIEWS

"Jaunty [with] moments of captivating eccentricity." - The New York Times

"Apt and original...A fascinating story." - The New York Post

"Filled with beguiling, buoyant melody [and] witty and original lyrics...The kind of musical theatre invention we have come to expect from this gifted artist." - InTheatre


A New Brain preemiered at the Lincoln Center Theater in May of 1998 under the direction of Graciela Daniele.

Characters

CASTING

6m, 4f

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

Ensemble cast, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

CHORUS SIZE

Small

GORDON MICHAEL SCHWINN - aspiring stage composer who awakes in a hospital after collapsing on a plate of ziti
A HOMELESS LADY
RHODA
WAITRESS
MR. BUNGEE
RICHARD - a nice nurse
NANCY D. - the thin nurse
DR. JAFAR BERENSTEINER
THE MINISTER
ROGER DELLI-BOVI
MIMI SCHWINN - the mother

Rental Materials

SIZE OF ORCHESTRA

Small/Combo

MUSICAL STYLE

Classic Broadway

VOCAL DEMANDS

Difficult

11 Piano/Conductor Scores

Reed (Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Oboe, English Horn, Piccolo Soprano Saxophone, Flute)
Horn
Drums/Percussion
Synthesizer
Cello

Bass

Song Samples

Frogs Have So Much Spring (The Spring Song)

Calamari

911 Emergency

I Have So Many Songs

Heart and Music

Trouble is His Brain

Mother's Gonna Make Things Fine

Sailing

Family History

Gordo's Law of Genetics

And They're Off

Just Go

Poor, Unsuccessful, and Fat

Sitting Becalmed in the Lee of Cuttyhuck

An Invitation to Sleep In My Arms

Change

Yes

In the Middle of the Room

Throw It Out

A Really Lousy Day in the Universe

Brain Dead

Whenever I Dream

Eating Myself Up Alive

The Music Still Plays On

Don't Give In

You Boys Are Gonna Get Me in So Much Trouble

Sailing (Reprise)

The Homeless Lady's Revenge

Time

Time and Music

I Feel So Much Spring

Videos
  • A New Brain preview at New York City Center

  • A New Brain

Author(s)
William Finn

William Finn

William Finn is the writer and composer of Falsettos, for which he received two Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical (with James Lapine) and Best Original Score. He has also written and composed In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, two Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Lucille Lortel Award and Guggenheim ... view full profile

James Lapine

James Lapine

James Lapine was born in 1949 in Mansfield, Ohio and lived there until his early teens when his family moved to Stamford, Connecticut. He attended public schools before entering Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he majored in History. He went on to get an MFA in Design from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.After graduate school, he moved to ... view full profile

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Reviews
Danielle Feder 4/18/2013 3:00 PM
This small musical follows struggling songwriter Gordon after he collapses suddenly and is admitted to the hospital, and the reactions of his lover, mother, and hospital staff. Despite his precarious health, his boss at Mr. Bungee, the children’s TV program he composes music for, is still strictly enforcing his deadline, and all the stress causes him to spiral into graver doubts about his artistic ability. Since serious subject matter such as this begs for levity, the score is cheerful and the book is irreverent and goofy. Much of the show takes place while Gordon is hallucinating or unconscious in the hospital and undergoing various tests, so his dreams are appropriately bizarre and humorous, involving the characters from Mr. Bungee and a human ventriloquist dummy act. These scenes mark a decline in Gordon's health, however, and contrast with the ways those around him are handling his illness.

At the center of all this heavy material, though, is love. Gordon’s near-death experience forces all the characters to grapple with how they process trauma to those they love. Gordon and his lover want to spend more time together, while his mother tries to find something to blame for her son’s ill health. Ultimately, Gordon recovers and his new lease on life gets rid of the writers’ block that had been plaguing him. The contrast between the usually upbeat score and the sad story makes this a show that defies genre to some degree, at turns heartbreaking, eccentric, and joyful.

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