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A New Brain (Gallery Players)

Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Quirky, Clever, Delightful

About the show

By the Tony Award-winning authors of 'Falsettos,' this autobiographical musical deals directly with the writer’s own harrowing personal experience with arteriovenous malformation and the healing power of art.

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The hero, Gordon, worries that he may not live to complete his work, and his near death experience encourages him to re-evaluate and better appreciate the people and relationships in his life. William Finn wrote many of the songs soon after his release from the hospital.



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65
Show Showdown

"'A New Brain,' for all of its many strengths, is a flabby sort of musical..Most of the songs are pretty wonderful. However, the overall musical is less so. The main problem, for me, is the lack of real stakes--there is never any doubt that Gordon is going to live and prosper...Luckily, the Gallery Players can overcome one tone deaf apple, and, as with all of their musicals, this one is solid and smoothly directed." Full Review

65
Washington Square News

"Laugh-out-loud funny but refreshingly light during dramatic moments...Manocherian as Schwinn is the clear standout of the show...But other members of the ensemble fail to distinguish their characters, and director and choreographer Barrie Gelles sometimes seems to be at a loss for what to do with his actors in the space...A heartfelt and sentimental comedy tackling heavy themes in innovative ways...but the production doesn’t always have what it takes to realize the show’s fullest potential." Full Review

60
Applause! Applause!

“‘A New Brain’ is a musical written by William Finn shortly after his having successfully undergone surgery to repair an arteriovenous malformation. It contains too many songs (32 numbers), too many scenes, and a particularly unlikeable, neurotic, main character. The cast is extremely talented. At only $25.00 a ticket, seeing this show is worth your effort and time. You will receive good value in exchange for your hard-earned money.” Full Review


95
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Intense, Entertaining

See it if You love a brilliant musical by William Finn. Great songs "Don't Give In, Sailing"

Don't see it if You don't have taste.

90
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy seeing rarely revived and cutting edge musicals in an intimate theater performed by a great cast of young talent.

Don't see it if No reason not to see A New Brain

90
Funny, Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if Lovely tale about a gay songwriter's brain operation. Enthusiastic performance by a large cast having a great time. Wonderful music.

Don't see it if You demand Broadway-quality performers/production. You don't want to travel to Brooklyn. I thought this was so charming & well worth it.

90
Clever, Enchanting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You wish the difficult parts of life were set to music.

Don't see it if You're the type that sees 14th Street and assumes it's in Manhattan (I made it, but just barely).

90
Funny, Poignant, Quirky, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like Bill Finn's idiosyncratic through-sung yet talky style, are pro-gay, or liked Falsettos.

Don't see it if you are too squeamish about brain surgery, don't like depictions of romance between men, or didn't like Falsettos.

Also Going in, I knew only one song ("Sailing"), and I have the original ca... Read more Read less

90
Clever, Great acting, Masterful, Indulgent, Great singing

See it if you've never seen a production of A New Brain.

Don't see it if you've already seen this production of A New Brain.

90
Ambitious, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great direction

See it if you want to see a talented cast sing and dance in a well constructed, well choreographed show. Impressive for a small neighborhood theater!

Don't see it if you believe that only Broadway can present a quality musical.

Also I don't know if Gallery Players has a new director but the result was ... Read more Read less

90
Ambitious, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you're a William Finn fan, as I am. Ambitious -- cast of 15, only 10 in original Lincoln Center 1998 production.

Don't see it if you dislike sung-through musicals and are uncomfortable with same sex relationships depicted on stage.

Also Great score and some good singing. During a few moments the lyrics wer... Read more Read less

89
Clever, Delightful, Quirky

See it if you enjoy a well thought out show that is nicely executed with some fine performances. If you are already a fan, this is worth a look.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of William Finn or don't appreciate very good community theater.

88
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Humane

See it if you can handle vibrantly intelligent lyrics with engaging melodies that are staged with style and enacted by a first-rate cast. Enthralling.

Don't see it if Fast & Furious is your favorite film or if you want to miss the award-worthy performance of Jesse Manocherian as a persnickety songwriter.

88
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Nonstop singing from start to end from a talented cast that often break into a full choreography involving everyone. Such a delight

Don't see it if There’s a very annoying rattling fan from the ceiling that slightly ruins important moments. Nearly all lines are sung

Also The lead, Jesse, is an incredible singer. Unconventional storyline tha... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if you enjoy song thru shows. lead male Jesse M. is back at Gallery & is great Barrie Gelles. gives her best directing and choreography

Don't see it if too late.. we caught the final performance. Gallery is so good. Rating is partner's 90% & my 80%

85
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if you want to see an Encores-like musical in a "workshop-plus" set.

Don't see it if need full production values to make you think you belong.

Also Can't help but use the word "workshop," but need to explain what it me... Read more Read less

85
Profound, Great singing, Great ensemble

See it if Wow! I definitely misjudged Gallery Players. The lead is sensational. Go for William Finn, stay for the cast. And the kick-ass band.

Don't see it if You don't want to haul ass all the way to Brooklyn. Also, the Roger and Mimi were pitchy at times.

Also Can't wait for Chess!

85
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoy an excellent musical with great songs

Don't see it if You only want a Broadway musical or you only like dramas

Also I would have scored this 5 points higher but there was something (prob... Read more Read less

84
Ambitious, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like lots of singing, almost every line was sung ; musicians did an excellent job, as well as the actors

Don't see it if you have trouble sitting through 1 hour and 40 minutes without a break. An intermission would have been good...

Also I liked the songs with most of the cast best. A few of the solo/duet s... Read more Read less

83
Funny, Clever, Great acting

See it if you enjoy the wonderful and creative lyrics of William Finn, great acting and singing

Don't see it if if you do not like shows dealing with medical issues or gay themes.

83
Ambitious, Intelligent, Quirky, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy good community theater, mostly well acted, sung and danced but not always audible or perfect.

Don't see it if you are disturbed by an ensemble that sometimes has breakout members looking to "star." Good, four-piece band overpowers singing at times.

82
Clever, Refreshing, Resonant, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Good singing by lead and relaxed choreography with a slightly quirky story intrigues you. Worth a trip to Brooklyn.

Don't see it if You only want high value Broadway quality.

82
Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy William Finn's shows, want to see something that is both serious and funny, want to be entertained by a rarely-performed musical

Don't see it if you're looking for a big production with elaborate sets, you don't like sung-through (or mostly sung) musicals

Also The cast on this production was amazing and the director did a great j... Read more Read less

82
Delightful, Relevant, Emotional, Great singing, Great direction

See it if Youve never seen this show before (rarely done) & are interested in works of Bill Finn. Director & lead actor were great! Loved the company.

Don't see it if You would be bothered by not hearing everything, it’s a small theater. This is the original production staged, without the cuts from 2015.

82
Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You'd enjoy a large cast & a sung-thru musical about a guy who needs a serious brain operation. Kudos to the lead guy & the Mom!

Don't see it if Could use a 5 or 10 minute trim, as it runs 1 hour 50 minutes no intermission.

81
Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Great singing

See it if you love gems of local theater, have a good sense of humor, and are open to unusual plots that wildly vary from downer to campy in seconds.

Don't see it if you hate when endings go on too long. You can't deal with weird. You are looking for an over-the-top set or fantastical experience.

Also The cast was phenomenal, and I will definitely be seeing something els... Read more Read less

80
Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to support a wonderful community theater and enjoy a good musical.

Don't see it if You don't like a show without any spoken dialogue---all the dialogue was sung

80
Funny, Delightful, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy this lesser-known William Finn show.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy all-sung shows.


Cast & Creatives (20)