Closed 2h 15m
A New Brain
Midtown W
82

A New Brain NYC Reviews and Tickets

82%
(27 Reviews)
Positive
89%
Mixed
7%
Negative
4%
Members say
Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Funny, Great writing

About the Show

This autobiographical 1998 musical from Tony Award winner William Finn is a medical tragedy as seen through the lens of a Looney Tunes short.

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Member Reviews (27)

75
Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent, Interesting

See it if Great concert version. Great talent. Interesting plot

Don't see it if You think Jonathan Groff should be heard but not seen.

73
Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You're a fan of the performers or the score. Ana Gasteyer was a standout!

Don't see it if You don't like concert stagings or not a fan of the piece.

Critic Reviews (10)

June 25th, 2015

“An attractively abstract, shadow-filled production directed by Mr. Lapine, the show remains, as it was, what is essentially one long, harmonious thank-you note for second chances in life...'A New Brain' has been given a top-flight physical production...Both eccentrically individual and universal, these songs evoke the original, piquant talent of a composer whose singular style otherwise feels strangely absent."
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June 25th, 2015

"With its existential questions and probing narrative, 'A New Brain' suffers a bit from an unwillingness to prune away some of its revue-form roots: There are too many songs and, especially, too many wrap-it-up songs at the end. But the miracle is that the show is nevertheless terribly moving, making excellent use of what can, in other contexts, be Finn’s least successful tics...The authors have also fiddled with the material, sharpening and tightening it significantly."
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June 25th, 2015

"Finn is an idiosyncratic lyricist/composer with a unique gift for nakedly emotional songs...Other parts of the show haven’t aged nearly as well, like the grating childlike vibe associated with Mr. Bungee...Though the musical is uneven, Groff effortlessly keeps the production together with his supple voice and low-key charm."
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June 25th, 2015

"A tuneful and chipper number in 'A New Brain' repeatedly points out that you need 'heart and music to survive.' The show heeds half that smart advice...This 'Brain' could use more heart...There’s an almost clinical detachment toward the characters."
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June 25th, 2015

"The unpredictable, often catchy score alternates between madcap, hallucinatory production numbers and gorgeous, tender ballads...The current production has very little scenery, which makes it look rather empty in the big theater. Nevertheless, the musical plows ahead without pause for 100 minutes and giddily sweeps the audience along."
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June 25th, 2015

"With 'A New Brain', Lapine proves once again how good he is at directing his own material, sending us on a dizzying voyage through the valley of the shadow of death that's as dark as it is lighthearted...Ultimately, this production proves that 'A New Brain' is one big affirmation of life, and a reminder that every day we have on this planet is a gift."
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June 24th, 2015

"Though tangible reality is essentially a character, and makes its presence keenly felt at certain points, its application represents the shakiest sections of the show's otherwise rock-solid concept...So, no, 'A New Brain' is not perfect. Still, such flaws hardly matter when the presentation and the casting are as elegant as they are here...With an artistry that is at once touching and objective. That elevates the show and transports us to the realm of insight and wonder only accessible by way of the best musicals — the best theatre."
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June 25th, 2015

"To some, 'A New Brain', William Finn’s autobiographically-based musical about his brief battle with a brain injury, will always seem like an odd, slightly self-indulgent curiosity. To others, myself included, the show is a moving testament to the power of love and hope, blessed with some of the most glorious and inventive music written for the theater in the past 20 years. And I suspect whichever side you may be on, you will never see a more perfectly cast production."
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September 14th, 2015

"The production under Lapine’s direction, with musical direction by Chris Fenwick and new orchestral arrangements by the one and only Jason Robert Brown, may have been small in scale, but it was huge in its emotional scope. It’s safe to assume that all attendees left the theatre with newfound appreciation for life, music and love. It was pure bliss."
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February 27th, 2014

"All fall a little short in giving their characters the quirkiness that Schwinn and Finn surely see in them, though. There are opportunities for each of those roles to be quite funny, which these actresses didn’t entirely find...At the end of the day, though, 'A New Brain' is all about the music, and this cast delivers it thrillingly"
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Trailer

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