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Artistry Presents William Finn's Autobiographical Musical A NEW BRAIN, opening October 18

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October 01, 2019
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Artistry is excited to present A New Brain, taking place in the Schneider Theater October 18 – November 9, 2019, directed by Benjamin McGovern.
Gordon Schwinn is the frustrated composer of a children’s TV show who, on one otherwise ordinary day, collapses into his lunch and wakes up in the hospital. As doctors and nurses fly in and out of his room, trying to figure out what’s wrong with his brain, Gordon drifts in and out of consciousness as he contemplates his life, legacy, and the meaning of music—all while navigating his relationships with his best friend, mother, and boyfriend. Oh, and he’s also being haunted by Mr. Bungee, an imaginary frog and the star of the children’s show he’s supposed to be composing for. A semi-autobiographical musical by Tony Award-winning composer William Finn, A New Brain features Finn’s signature lyricism and is an unexpectedly funny, relatable, and ultimately touching meditation on how beautiful the world is when we slow down enough to look.
Tony-winning composer and lyricist William Finn is known for his quirky, witty and heartfelt musicals. His best-known shows, Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, were both Tony-award winners. Finn is a heavily autobiographical writer, and as a result his musicals often feel extremely intimate and personal. "Among his distinguishing talents, perhaps the greatest is his ability to turn complicated but natural conversation and intricate interior thought into song,” Says New York Times Critic Charles Isherwood. "The seams between words and music never show." A New Brain is based on his own medical crisis, and the characters in the show are based on his own family and friends – many people say that the character of Gordon’s best friend, Rhoda, is based on Playwright Wendy Wasserstein.
Benjamin McGovern, Producing Artistic Director, will direct all productions in Artistry’s 2019-2020 Season. Before landing at Artistry in 2015, McGovern worked as a Director and Arts Administrator for many local companies, including the Guthrie Theater and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. He will be joined for the whole season by Artistry’s Resident Music Director, Anita Ruth.
The cast of A New Brain includes some of the best singing actors in the Twin Cities, many returning to Artistry. Riley McNutt and C Ryan Shipley return to Artistry as Gordon Schwinn and Roger Delli-Bovi. McNutt is an accomplished Twin Cities actor and singer who has taken on roles at Theatre Latté Da (Henrik in A Little Night Music, All is Calm), Minnesota Orchestra, and Trademark Theatre. Shipley is a frequent Artistry collaborator, who most recently appeared in She Loves Me (Sipos) and Mary Poppins (Bert).
Also appearing in A New Brain are Bradley Greenwald (Mr. Bungee), Jen Burleigh-Bentz (Mimi Schwinn), Mary Palazzolo (Lisa, A Homeless Woman), Rodolfo Nieto (Dr. Jafar Berensteiner), Caitlin Burns (Rhoda), Evan Tyler Wilson (Richard, the Nice Nurse), Sarah DeYong (Waitress/Nancy D.) and Reese Britts (The Minister).
Heidi Spesard-Noble will choreograph, returning to Artistry after this summer’s Footloose.
About Artistry
Artistry is an award-winning producing theater and visual arts non-profit and the anchor tenant at Bloomington Center for the Arts. Strongly committed to bringing vibrant and diverse arts experiences and learning to our community, we produce a wide variety of work that informs and illuminates the South Metro.
Devon Cox
(952) 563-8575