By Joe Racc
House lights down, the curtain opens, and the audience took their seats for an hour and a half of non-stop singing and storytelling in FTC’s winter musical, A New Brain, which was performed from November 21st-24th. This production’s music and lyrics were written by William Flynn, who wrote the show after his battle for life when he was afflicted with a terminal illness.
A New Brain tells the story of Gordon Schwinn (Nolan Maggio), a neurotic composer who is confronted with a terminal illness and tries to figure life out through the power of music and art. Along the way, you meet a cast of characters from Schwinn’s mom, Mimi (Shannon Tarkington), to his business manager and best friend, Rhoda (Katharine Brady), who want the best for Schwinn and don’t want to hear the music end.
At times, the show could be sad as it is set in a hospital, and the audience must wait to find out what happens to Schwinn. However, you could count on Schwinn’s boss and television show host, Mr. Bungee (Victoria Kay), to provide comic relief and make the audience laugh with a few musical numbers and funny one-liners.
One of the most memorable things about this particular musical was the songs that not only made you feel good but also painted the picture and told the entire story. From "I Feel So Much Spring" to "Heart and Music," the audience could not stop tapping their feet, eager to see where the journey concluded. Schwinn made it through his brain surgery and was back to his old self, finally finding the right music to make everyone’s heart and soul sing again.
Great job to the cast of A New Brain. And just as they sang before their final bow and the curtain closing, “heart and music certainly do make a song.” The entire cast and crew poured their heart and soul into each and every performance and gave the audience a wonderful escape from reality.
The next FTC play you can catch will be The Wolves, which will debut in March 2020.