Broadway-Aimed Musical Story of My Life, With Gets and Chase, Makes U.S. Premiere in CT

News   Broadway-Aimed Musical Story of My Life, With Gets and Chase, Makes U.S. Premiere in CT The Story of My Life, the two-actor Canadian musical about lifelong friendship, begins performances Oct. 10 at Goodspeed Musicals' Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, a first American step on its way to Broadway. Will Chase and Malcolm Gets are the pals.

Story of My Life star Malcolm Gets in rehearsal
Story of My Life star Malcolm Gets in rehearsal Photo by Diane Sobolewski

The Goodspeed production will continue to Nov. 2 at the not-for-profit company's developmental Chester home (into which no critics are invited). Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr. (Ain't Misbehavin') directs Tony nominee Gets and recent Rent alumnus Chase.

The Story of My Life is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.

Commercial producers are waiting in the wings to take the show to Broadway. It would be the Broadway bow of Canadian-born writers Neil Bartram (music and lyrics) and Brian Hill (book), who are now New Yorkers. The Story of My Life was first seen in a critically acclaimed production by Canadian Stage Company in Toronto in fall 2006. There have been revisions to the book and score since then. It was seen in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in fall 2007. For more information about the collaborators, visit bartramandhill.com.

According to Goodspeed, "This new musical tells the story of two childhood friends and how that friendship profoundly defined their lives. Thomas Weaver [played by Chase] is a best selling, award-winning author. Alvin Kelby [played by Gets] was his best friend for 30 years. But time can test the bonds of friendship — and when it does, Thomas calls on the only resource he has — his stories of Alvin — to learn where things went wrong. A richly melodic musical, The Story of My Life is a soaring tribute to the power of friendship and the people who change our lives forever."

Gets' Broadway credits include The Moliere Comedies, Amour (Tony nomination as Best Actor in a Musical) and concerts of Passion and Dreamgirls. Gets may be best known to audiences as Richard on the television comedy "Caroline in the City." Chase's Broadway credits include High Fidelity, Aida, The Full Monty, Rent and Miss Saigon. He was Roger in the final Broadway company of Rent, which was recently captured on film for a "cinecast" presentation.

Bartram is the recipient of a Dramatists Guild Jonathan Larson Fellowship, a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, and was a finalist for the 2007 Fred Ebb Award. He wrote the music and lyrics for The Nightingale and the Rose and Somewhere In The World, which ran for five seasons at the Charlottetown Festival in Canada.

Hill is currently associate director of Disney's The Little Mermaid on Broadway and served as resident director of The Lion King for six years.

Maltby returns to The Norma Terris Theatre where he previously directed Goodspeed Musicals' production of The 60's Project. On Broadway, Maltby directed Ring of Fire, Fosse, Song and Dance, and won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for Ain't Misbehavin'.

The musical director for The Story of My Life is David Holcenberg, whose Broadway credits include Good Vibrations, Mamma Mia! and Seussical and was associate conductor for the Broadway revival of Show Boat.

Jonathan Tunick, longtime orchestrator for television, film, and the stage, provides the orchestrations. Tony winner Tunick's numerous Broadway credits include A Catered Affair, 110 in the Shade, LoveMusik, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, Nine, Into the Woods, Company and Titanic.

He creative team includes set designer Robert Brill, costume designer Wade Laboissonniere, lighting designer Ken Billington and sound designer Carl Casella.

For tickets, call the box office at (860) 873-8668 or visit www.goodspeed.org.

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Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT, and additional musicals at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The only regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater.

Will Chase and Malcolm Gets in rehearsal for <i>Story of My Life</i>
Will Chase and Malcolm Gets in rehearsal for Story of My Life Photo by Diane Sobolewski