reviewed by Paula Citron
A New Brain
Acting Up Stage Theatre Company
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by William Finn and James Lapine
Directed by Daryl Cloran
Starring Steven Gallagher, Juan Chioran, Thom Allison, Barbara Barsky and Patricia Zentilli, with Paula Wolfson, Allie Hughes, Steve Ross, Jonathan Tan and Parris Greaves
At Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs until Mar. 1
Acting Up Theatre Company performs contemporary musical theatre. Their latest offering is William Finn and James Lapine’s very clever A New Brain. The premise of the show is that a songsmith suffers a neurological disorder and while he is in the hospital, his mind wanders between reality and nightmare. In the process we meet the people in his life and learn some home truths.
The very talented Steven Gallagher plays the composer Gordon whose misfortune it is to work for the children’s show Mr. Bungee who is a frog played with great relish by Juan Chioran. It is the Mr. Bungee character who stalks Gordon’s nightmare. Thom Allison is Gordon’s sympathetic lover Roger with Barbara Barsky as Gordon’s mother. The rest of the large cast under Daryl Cloran’s sensitive direction is very strong.
The joy of the show is the delightful lyrics. It’s a mini-opera that is both very poignant and very funny.
A New Brain continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs until Mar. 1.