Jeannie Markionni, director of Chicago Heights’ Drama Group’s “A New Brain,” expects some audience members to ponder their current everyday state of affairs while enjoying the theatrics and songs on stage.
“I don't know a single person who hasn't struggled with what they're doing with their life, and this addresses that,” she said. Oftentimes we struggle with our jobs and are not happy doing what we're doing even though we thought it was what we wanted to do, and all of that, I think it's something everybody has gone through at some point.”
Opening at Drama Group’s Millord Studio Theatre March 9 and running through March 18, “Brain” is the tale of Gordon, an accomplished composer whose professional and personal life is turned upside down following a dire medical ordeal.
Penned by William Finn and James Lapine, whose credits include the Tony Award winning 1992 play “Falsettos,” “Brain” made its debut Off-Broadway in 1998. The musical, augmented by songs such as “Heart and Music,” “Invitation to Sleep in My Arms” and “Whenever I Dream,” has been met with acclaim over the course of the last two decades.
“The music is really stunning and moving. The style really varies. There are ballads. There's a Motown-esque song. From song to song, the style varies. And it's William Finn. He's very Sondheim-esque in the way that he writes. It's quirky, it's different, and it’s very difficult. Our ensemble is singing six-part harmonies.”
Scott Sowinski is Gordon in Drama Group’s “Brain.” He is joined onstage by Erin Fitzpatrick as Rhoda, Gordon’s agent and close confidant, Lisa Hedin as Gordon’s mother, Mimi, Nate Krug as Gordon’s significant other, Roger and Curt Lang as program creator and Gordon’s boss, Mr. Bungee, Dave Chapleau as the Minister and Gina Guarino as Lady Grace.
“Production is going great. I can't say enough good things about my cast or my production staff.”
Next up for Drama Group is the comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which is scheduled to open at Millord Studio Theatre May 4.