A New Brain | Rivendell Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through March 9 2014
One minute struggling composer Gordon Schwinn is complaining about his gig writing songs for a kids’ TV show; the next he’s collapsed on the floor with what turns out to be a life-threatening brain disorder. Songwriter William Finn drew on his own health scare to create this 1998 musical (cowritten with James Lapine), which manages to stay buoyant even as Gordon stares down his own mortality and limitations as an artist. M. William Panek’s staging for the Brown Paper Box Company can feel cramped and clumsy, especially during the dance numbers choreographed by Danny Spagnuolo. But the show is redeemed by a bold, big-voiced cast, led by Jason Richards, who makes Gordon seem dyspeptic and filled with longing at the same time. —Zac Thompson



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