"Hey mister! Hey you! What are you looking so sad for?" -- Lisa in A New Brain
These are perilous times, sings the homeless woman in Center Stage Playhouse's revival of A New Brain, the award-winning musical by William Finn and James Lapine. With all the craziness going on in the world around us, the story of Gordan Schwinn, facing a medical emergency and a crisis of defining his life's purpose, makes us realize that what really matters in life is the more intimate craziness of our family and friends.
A New Brain is a wonderful way to complete the Bronx theater company's 40th anniversary season, and a great show to catch if you've never before experienced a production at Center Stage Playhouse.
I've worked with a number of theater groups over the years, and Center Stage continues to impress me with the level of talent it attracts, from actors, to designers, to directors, to volunteers. Their passion and commitment are evident to anyone who hops on the 6 train to Westchester Square and heads over to the historic Foster Hall near St. Peter's Church to see them strut their stuff on stage.
As one of the producers of the show, I'm obviously biased in my praise. All I can do is encourage you all to come see A New Brain and judge for yourselves. I think you'll marvel at the bold set design by Jason Bolen, the stunning lighting by Christina Watanabe, the incredible choreography by Bethany Marie White, the daring direction by Shani Colleen Murfin, and the awesome musical direction by Kurt Kelley.
And of course, I have to heap accolades on the entire cast. They bring the characters to life with their energy and conviction.
Loosely based on the playwright's own near-death experience following brain surgery, the whimsical musical explores the roles of music and family in the lead character's life and recovery. Come check it out and spread the word.
Call 718.823.6434 for reservations. There's a special discounted Preview on Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. Performances are on April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, and 30, and May 1 and 2, Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.