Anna McNeely to Star in Lyric Theatre and Curtain Call Productions' A NEW BRAIN, 3/22-24

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Lyric Theatre and Curtain Call Productions will be presenting William Finn's A New Brain, a musical by the Tony award-winning team behind 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the Falsettos trilogy, starring Broadway Veteran Anna McNeely at the Lyric's Flagler Center, for four performances only, March 22nd- 24th.

A New Brain is the autobiographical story of composer Gordo Schwinn's diagnosis with a terminal brain disorder. Surrounded by his agent, family and friends, Gordo learns from the zany hospital staff that he'll have to have surgery for any chance at recovery from his arteriovenous malformation, or AVM. Gordo must struggle to push through with a new appreciation for life, aided by his overbearing mother, played by Broadway Veteran Anna McNeely opposite former student, Artistic Director Jake Sanders.

"To be onstage with Anna considering the body of work she has is just a once in a lifetime kind of moment," says Sanders. Anna McNeely's work includes originating the role of "Jennyanydots" in Cats on Broadway, starring as Mrs. Potts and Madame De La Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, starring in the film of Gypsy with Bette Midler, and dozens of other shows across the country. "Having Anna play my mother in this show is just so surreal, there's a kind of chemistry that you can only have when you've known someone for 7 years, and its great to be able to start rehearsing with that already in place."

Rounding out the ensemble cast are NY Actress Jenni Lawton, Palm Beach Dramawork's Lanardo Davis, and local professionals Caiti Marlowe, Michael Hurst, Mitchell Landrum, Michelle Lucey, Larry Brooks and Michael Harrison, with musical direction by Evan Ferrar. "I am thrilled to be a part of this talented cast," remarks McNeely. "I know the Treasure Coast theatre-goers will support Curtain Call. Jake has created a local professional theatre company at its best!"

The show rings true on many levels- having being written following real life composer William Finn's miraculous recovery from an AVM, which he was hospitalized with 3 days after accepting his first Tony-award for Falsettos. "Finn's work is so highly-praised- from his first shows up until his latest hit with 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," says director Gale Baker. "But there is something so honest and full of life about this show, being composed in the days directly following his recovery." Rumor has it Finn sat at the piano for days upon end in a wheelchair, only composing, without being able to pry himself away from the keys.

A New Brain runs March 22nd-24th at the Lyric's Flagler Center with performances Friday and Saturday at 8PM and Saturday and Sunday at 2PM at 201 Flagler Avenue, Stuart- 34994. The show runs approximately an hour and 25 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

For tickets, call 772-286-7827, online at or visit the box office at 59 SW Flagler Ave. Tickets are $25 with student tickets available for $15. More information on the rest of the Curtain Call 2012-2013 Season can be found at

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