A New Brain [Original Cast Recording]

A New Brain [Original Cast Recording]

by Christian Borle
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A New Brain [Original Cast Recording]

The Off-Broadway musical A New Brain tells the story of a struggling songwriter who suffers a medical crisis when something goes wrong with his brain and he is forced to undergo surgery. The show follows his experiences in the hospital and the ways that his friends, relatives, and business associates deal with the situation. Composer/lyricist/co-librettist William Finn himself suffered a similar problem; as annotator André Bishop writes, "Everybody knows by now that Bill Finn was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, almost died, and then didn't." Everybody (in the musical theater, anyway) also knows that Finn is the celebrated composer of the Tony Award-winning Falsettos, a highly original show that, among other things, touched on medical matters in lively, unexpected ways. However autobiographical A New Brain may be, it is also a worthy follow-up to Falsettos, full of pop, rock, and funk tunes played primarily on synthesizers with lyrics that trace a group of funny, touching characters in ways that comment on contemporary life. Bishop accurately points out that Finn simultaneously occupies a central place in current musical theater and a place "on the extreme sidelines, " because he is recognized as a major talent, but is also uncompromisingly devoted to writing "idiosyncratic, highly personal shows." While, like Falsettos, A New Brain goes well beyond its nominal subject matter and is enjoyable purely for its music and wit, it nevertheless is idiosyncratic and highly personal, and listeners may find the juxtaposition of catchy songs and medical problems disconcerting. Finn is interested in getting his audiences to tap their feet, but he doesn't want them to forget their troubles. A New Brain is a less substantial work than Falsettos, but it is another highly accomplished effort from a challenging artist.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/15/1998
Label: Rca Victor Broadway
UPC: 0090266329823
catalogNumber: 63298

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Christian Borle   Primary Artist
Michael Starobin   Synthesizer
Liz Larsen   Track Performer
Chip Zien   Track Performer
Malcolm Gets   Piano
John Jellison   Track Performer
Kristin Chenoweth   Track Performer
Norm Lewis   Track Performer
Penny Fuller   Track Performer
Mary Testa   Track Performer
Michael Mandell   Track Performer
Pe Fuller   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Jay David Saks   Producer,Engineer
André Bishop   Liner Notes
James McMullan   Cover Art
James P. Nichols   Producer

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A New Brain 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"A New Brain" is a beautiful work. The writing and performances are fantastic. I especially liked the songs - "Just Go" and "An Invitation to Sleep in my Arms". This is an uplifting and highly enjoyable musical. Malcolm Gets is a brilliant performer. It is not surprising that he was nominated for a Tony Award for the musical "Amore" in 2003. Having seen this musical performed live in New York, I can honestly say that listening to the CD is a new thrill everytime I hear it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want power and plenty of passion put into a musical score, then this is the musical for you. With such songs as 'Heart and Music, Sailing, and I Feel So Much Spring,' every Broadway lover should have this piece in their repertoire!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You must have this cd in your collection. If you love music theatre then this is for you. With performers such as Tony award winning Kristen Chinoweth and Tony Award nominee Mary Testa. Songs range from gut wrenching ballads to playful obscure musical theatre tunes!!!!!!!