William Finn (born February 28, 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a Jewish American composer and lyricist. He was raised in conservative Judaism and grew up in Natick, Massachusetts. He attended the Temple Israel in Natick and wrote his first play, saying, “The first play I ever wrote was in Hebrew. I have no idea what it was about. But it was horrible, I guarantee it. I couldn’t write plays, and I couldn’t really speak Hebrew, so how good could it be?”
He is the writer and composer of Falsettos, for which he received two Tony Awards, Best Book of a Musical (with James Lapine) and Best Original Score. He has also written and composed In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, two Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, the Lucille Lortel Award and Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting).
James Lapine (born in 1949 in Mansfield, Ohio) lived there until his early teens when his family moved to Stamford, Connecticut. He attended public schools before entering Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he majored in History. He went on to get an MFA in Design from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. After graduate school, he moved to New York City working as a part-time waiter, a page and tour guide at NBC, a free-lance photographer and graphic designer, and an architectural preservationist for the Architectural League of NY. One of his free-lance jobs was designing the magazine of the Yale School of Drama, Yale/Theater, then edited by Rocco Landesman and Robert Marx. At the suggestion and urging of students and faculty at Yale, Lapine directed a Gertrude Stein play, Photograph. The play was five acts, and just three pages in length, and won Lapine an Obie award.
He has written the book for and directed Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Passion and the multi-media revue Sondheim on Sondheim. He also directed Merrily We Roll Along as part of Encores! at New York City Center. With William Finn he has collaborated on March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (later presented on Broadway as Falsettos), A New Brain, Muscle, and Little Miss Sunshine.
In 1992, while crossing 45th Street after seeing Falsettos at the Golden Theatre, Finn collapsed and was diagnosed with AVM, a tangle of blood vessels in his brain. This experience became the inspiration for his 1998 Off-Broadway musical A New Brain. Finn wrote the music and lyrics, as well as co-wrote the book with longtime collaborator James Lapine.
Finn admits that to “relive, re-imagine, re-invent, a horrible event from one’s life is approached with huge trepidation. And joy. And nausea.”
See A New Brain March 31 – April 4 at CCBC Catonsville, Center for the Arts, Theatre.
Performance Dates: March 31 at 11:10 a.m., April 1, 2 at 7 p.m., April 3 at 3 p.m. (ASL Interpreted), and April 4 at 10 a.m.
General admission $10, Seniors, Students, CCBC Faculty/Staff/Alumni $5, FREE for CCBC Students with current ID
Purchase tickets online at www.ccbctickets or call the Box Office at 443-840-ARTS.
Please note: Photosensitive viewers should be aware that a strobe light effect is used briefly during this performance.