Moonbox Productions presents William Finn and James Lapine's A NEW BRAIN, Opening 3/15
Moonbox Productions presents A NEW BRAIN, the engaging, life-affirming musical about finding serenity, humor and music, in the face of death. Created by the Tony Award winning team behind Falsettos-composer William Finn (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and librettist James Lapine (Into the Woods, Passion)-the show runs March 15 -April 6, 2013, at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. (Press performance: Sunday, March 17 at 2pm). Tickets are available by calling Boston Theatre Scene Box Office at 617-933-8600 or online at www.bostontheatrescene.com.
Gordon Schwinn, an anxious and high-strung songwriter, works for a weekly children's TV show. As he churns out a stream of mindless tunes and laments his artistic stagnation, he collapses, and rushed to the hospital, learns he has a life-threatening brain disorder that requires emergency surgery. Facing uncertain chances for survival-and for keeping his creative faculties even if he does-A New Brain offers a surreal, funny, and exceedingly human look at Gordon as he catalogues his regrets, hopes, and fears, as he experiences a personal transformation around his near-death experience. As the show takes the audience on a journey inside Gordon's damaged mind, and through his tumultuous relationships with those closest to him-his mother, partner and publicist-it offers unique and tender perspectives on the fleeting nature of time, life, and love, and the inspiring power of art to heal and transform.
A New Brain originated from Finn's real life diagnosis of an arteriovenous malformation. Fully recovered from surgery, and writing about his experience, a concert of those songs Finn wrote after he left the hospital was produced at The Public Theater. Next fully staged workshops in 1996 and 1997 which included contributions by Lapine. The original production was staged Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center in 1998. Andre Bishop, Director of Lincoln Center, wrote in his notes to the album, "The hero of the piece regrets things about his life... and will miss those close to him should he die, but his biggest fear is that he may not live to complete his work, to honor his talent, to write all the songs that are in his heart." Author Bios
"I think the world that we're building for this show will be unlike any other version of A New Brain," says director and set designer Allison Olivia Choat, reflecting how the Moonbox production will create the show's essential dual reality and Gordon's experience as it plays out inside and outside of his own mind. "From books that glow, doughnuts that dance, and pianos that explode, this production will strive to take a composer's internal world and make it external, so that the audience shares in every part of Gordon's journey."
The cast includes Tom Shoemaker (Gordon Schwinn), Ross E. Brown (Roger), David Carney (The Doctor), Shonna Cirone (Rhoda), Shana Dirik (Mimi Schwinn), Lori L'Italien (Homeless Lady), Peter Mill (The Minister), Aaron Michael Ray (Richard), Allison Russell (Waitress, Nancy D.), and Matthew Zahnzinger (Mr. Bungee).
The creative and design team include Sharman Altshuler (Producer), Allison Olivia Choat (Director/Set Designer), Dan Rodriguez (Music Director), Rachel Bertone (Choreographer), Fabian Aguilar (Costume Design), Jeffrey E. Salzberg (Lighting Design), Dan Costello (Sound Design), Alexandra Jameson (Stage Manager), Dorothy Childs (Dramaturg), and Douglas Altshuler (Properties Master).
As part of every production, Moonbox spotlights the work of a local non-profit organization, helping them to increase the reach and impact of their work. For this production, Moonbox is pleased to partner with Massachusetts Farm to School Project.
Massachusetts Farm to School Project seeks to increase access to healthy, locally grown food in schools and other institutions for the good of our children, our farms and our communities across the state. We facilitate matchmaking and sustainable purchasing relationships between local institutions and local farms, promote local food and agriculture education for students, and support networking of farm to school practitioners - growing a sustainable food system for everyone in Massachusetts. Visit the website:www.massfarmtoschool.org for more information.
Moonbox Productions was founded in 2011 by Producer/Artistic Director Sharman Altshuler. Based in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Moonbox is dedicated to supporting local arts and local artists, and to connecting communities to the non-profit organizations that serve them. To fulfill their artistic mission, Moonbox taps the deep well of talent within their own communities to bring top quality theatrical experiences to stages throughout the Greater Boston area. To fulfill their social mission, they partner with a local non-profit organization for each show, giving them visibility on their website and in their promotional materials, as well as giving them access to their audiences in order to raise awareness of their cause, create connections within the community, and increase the reach and impact of their work.www.moonboxproductions.org