Sierra Stages kicks-off its 2018 season with the inspired and zany musical comedy “A New Brain” by William Finn and James Lapine for a three-weekend run from March 1 -17 at the historic Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City.
“A New Brain” is an engaging and fast-paced musical based on the actual life experience of composer William Finn. When a frustrated children’s television composer is struck with a rare brain disorder he faces the possibility of his own mortality. The tumultuous, comical and surreal ordeal that engulfs him and those closest to him — his mother, partner and publicist — teaches everyone something profound about what is truly important in life, and in love.
“A New Brain” is very much in the quirky mold of two other William Finn musicals that Sierra Stages introduced to Nevada County: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in 2011 and “Falsettos” in 2015. According to Sierra Stages music director Ken Getz, “Our productions of ‘Spelling Bee’ and ‘Falsettos’ were so well received by local audiences, we were encouraged to take on “A New Brain”. The show is a bit strange in that the story concerns a character with a life-threatening medical condition, but at the same time, it is funny, relatable, and ultimately life- affirming. Also, the songs are absolute winners – there are moving and beautiful ballads, laugh- out-loud comic numbers, and songs that are just knock-out amazing.”
Performances of “A New Brain” are on Thursdays (March 1 & 15), Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays (March 4 & 11) at 2 PM. Beginning with “A New Brain”, Sierra Stages is now offering all-reserved seating for its productions at the Nevada Theatre. For the first two performances on March 1 & 2, tickets are $20 for all seats. Thereafter, ticket prices are $35 (rows A-H) and $25 (rows J-O). Tickets may be purchased with no additional charge online at www.SierraStages.org and over the phone by calling Sierra Stages at 530.346.3210. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, subject to availability. $15 Student Rush tickets are also sold at the door, subject to availability.
“A New Brain” is directed by Robert Rossman and Jailyn Tafolla, with music direction by Ken Getz, who also conducts the live band. The cast includes Nevada County actors Brian Arsenault, Jay Barker, Heidi Grass, Kate Haight, Jonathan Hansard, Michaela King, Heather Lucas-Ross, Kevin Lucas-Ross, Ken Miele, and Sara Noah. The set design is by Robert Rossman, lighting design is by
Erin Beatie and Hunter Schott, and costume design is by Paulette Sand-Gilbert.
2018 marks the 10th Anniversary Season of Sierra Stages, a nonprofit community theatre in western Nevada County (Grass Valley and Nevada City). The 10th Anniversary Season is a celebration of heart, music, laughter and family: In addition to “A New Brain”, the season includes the amazing new musical “Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach” by Timothy Allen McDonald and the songwriting team of Ben Pasek and Justin Paul (July 14 – August 4) and the classic and enduring American stage comedy “You Can’t Take It With You” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman (September 20 – October 6).
For the first time in 2018, all three shows presented by Sierra Stages will be at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City and all seating will be reserved seating. For the tenth year running, Sierra Stages is pleased to offer the Sierra Stages 3-Show Season Pass: Choose a $95 Season Pass which includes reserved seating in Rows A-H of the Nevada Theatre or a $65 Season Pass which includes reserved seating in Rows J-O of the Nevada Theatre, and see all three shows: “A New Brain”, “James and the Giant Peach”, and “You Can’t Take It With You”. Sierra Stages also invites everyone to become a Sierra Stages Member with a tax-deductible donation that supports quality local theatre. For more information about Sierra Stages 2018 Season Passes and Sierra Stages Memberships visit www.SierraStages.org or call Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210.
Since 2008, Sierra Stages has presented productions of 33 plays and musicals at various venues in Grass Valley and Nevada City. With the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City, Sierra Stages also co-presents “Theater by the Book”, an informal play reading series for the community. The sixth season of “Theater by the Book” continues April 17 with a reading of a new play-in-development “Sonja Weissman and the Atomic Secrets” by Nevada County playwright Robin Wallace. For more information about Sierra Stages, visit www.SierraStages.org or call Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210.
Know and Go
What: Sierra Stages presents the musical comedy “A New Brain”
When: March 1 – 17, 2018 – Thursdays (March 1 & 15) at 7:30 PM Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 PM Sundays (March 4 & 11) at 2:00 PM
Where: Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City, CA
Information: www.SierraStages.org 530-346-3210
PHOTO CREDIT: David Wong
Caption: Ken Miele as Mr. Bungee in the Sierra Stages production of “A NEW BRAIN”
Brian Arsenault as Roger and Kate Haight as Lisa in the Sierra Stages production of “A NEW BRAIN”
Jay Barker as Gordon and Brian Arsenault as Roger n the Sierra Stages production of “A NEW BRAIN”