Smile Politely

A New Brain Opens Tonight at Midnight

“In the 21st century, with all of the chaotic things going on around you, you lose sight of the person standing right beside you,” Zev Steinberg, senior in Theater at the University of Illinois says.

Sometimes you need a reminder. An important reminder. A musical reminder.

This weekend at Armory Free Theatre, Steinberg directs a cast of 10 other University of Illinois students in the musical A New Brain, a production by William Finn and James Lapine that tells the story of a young man who is facing near-certain death from a brain condition.

In what he believes to be his final days, he has a series of “this is your life” hallucinations in which prominent figures from his life (including his mom, his lover, a sadistic nurse, and a human-sized frog) pay him a visit in song.

“It’s a really light show that takes some heavy things and makes them goofy,” Steinberg says. “From an audience perspective, it’s a really fun show with some important messages inside it.”

Keeping it goofy, taking it serious. See it tonight at midnight or Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Armory Free Theatre, 505 E. Armory, Room 160, Champaign.

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