Though productions of Falsettos and, especially, Falsettoland, are not uncommon on regional stages, William Finn's more recent work, A New Brain, has rarely been done since its summer 1998 world premiere at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre.
That changes when Boston's SpeakEasy Theatre Company mounts the musical, Oct. 7-30, under the direction of artistic director Paul Daigneault. Mark H. Haddad serves as musical director.
Loosely based on actual events that followed Finn's 1992 Tony win for Falsettos, A New Brain is the comic tale of songwriter Gordon Schwinn, who, while creating kiddie tunes for the amphibious Mr. Bungee Show, discovers he has a brain tumor. His friend, lover, mother and even the local homeless woman help him understand the gift of life.
Malcolm Gets ("Caroline in the City") originated Gordon in the show's premiere and recorded the role on the RCA Victor cast album. Songs include "The Music Still Plays On" and "Sailing."
The SpeakEasy cast features Sarah deLima, Kerry A. Dowling, David Foley, Nicole Johndrow, Youngmoo Kim, Will McGarrahan, Brian Robinson, Val Sullivan, J. T. Turner and Phillip Woods. Tickets are $23.50-$21 and available by calling (617) 426-ARTS. The SpeakEasy Stage performs at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street.
-- By Christine Ehren