Lewis Cleale will be going under the knife Aug. 4 when he replaces the departing Malcolm Gets in William Finn's A New Brain at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, spokesman Brian Reuben said. Gets is leaving the hit musical to begin filming the new season of television's "Caroline in the City," where he has a regular role. His last performance in the Off-Broadway production will be Aug. 2.
Cleale made his Broadway debut in Swinging on a Star. He has since appeared in Once Upon a Mattress as Sir Harry and in the Encores production of Call Me Madam. He also played Giorgio in the acclaimed Signature Theatre production of Passion.
A New Brain, the latest work from the Falsettos composer, recently extended its run for an extra two months. Originally set to play at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre through Aug. 2 (Gets' day of departure), it will now run through Oct. 11.
The show opened to largely positive reviews June 18. A New Brain is directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, Once on This Island). Penny Fuller, who recently played stepmom to An American Daughter, plays Malcolm Gets' mother in Brain. Other key roles are being handled by Kristen Chenoweth from Strike Up the Band, Chip Zien from Into the Woods, Mary Testa from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Keith Byron Kirk from Miss Saigon, Michael Mandell from A Christmas Carol and Liz Larsen from Damn Yankees
Gets, who merrily rolled off to sitcomland after the Off-Broadway's Merrily We Roll Along, plays Gordon Schwinn, a songwriter who has time to reassess his life while confined to a hospital bed, confronted with the possibility of brain surgery. There's more than a slight autobiographical spin to the book, which Finn wrote with his prize-winning Falsettos collaborator, James Lapine. Finn went through a similar experience -- a threat to his mind, his talent and his life -- just after winning the Best Score Tony for Falsettos in 1992.
Toni-Leslie James designed the costumes for A New Brain, Tony Meola the sound, Peggy Eisenhauer the lighting and David Gallo the sets.
For information on A New Brain call Tele-charge: (212) 239-6200.