‘Times’ lead a-changin’ again

Brescia new topliner for Tharp tuner

Maybe the third thesp will be the charm.

Lisa Brescia (“Aida”) has stepped in to the female lead role in “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” the new dance-ical by Twyla Tharp (“Movin’ Out”) set to Bob Dylan tunes, already in previews.

Previously the standby, Brescia takes over for Caren Lyn Manuel, who has played the part since the show began Gotham perfs Sept. 25. Manuel was herself a replacement for Jenn Colella (“High Fidelity”), who played the role in the show’s preem earlier this year at the Old Globe in San Diego.

With the production’s opening night set for Oct. 26, the switch marks a last-minute creative upheaval that already has industry wags positing that the tuner is in trouble. Move does seem in keeping, however, with the working style of Tharp, who, during the development of “Movin’ Out,” established a rep as an auteur willing to make major changes to her vision during the creative process.

Brescia plays Cleo, one of the denizens of a traveling carnival who gets caught between the exploitative captain of the circus (Thom Sesma) and his son (Michael Arden). Her first perf was Tuesday night.

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