God Sings and Lemons Abound at In My Life Press Preview

God Sings and Lemons Abound at In My Life Press Preview "This is the only truly original show now on Broadway," composer and director Joe Brooks told Playbill.com at a press preview held Friday morning to showcase his new Broadway musical In My Life.. "It doesn't come from any other play or film or anything like that."

The show follows the decision of God (who is an actual character in the show, played by Michael J. Farina) to create a "reality opera" in which he will set up two humans in New York City with opposite personalties to fall in love with each other: a female writer for the Village Voice and a male singer songwriter with Tourette's Syndrome.

In My Life, which will begin previews on Sept. 30 at the Music Box Theatre, has not been staged before out-of-town or Off-Broadway.

"I didn't want to take the show out of town," Brooks said. "This is my home. I felt like I wanted to put it up here first. We did three readings and two workshops. And you know, I thought that was good enough."

Three musical numbers were staged for the press including the title song "In My Life," a song called "Doom" that was written recently in the rehearsal process, and a montage of sequences involving the whole cast which takes place during the play's climax.

"I think it's a risky show with risky storytelling," said Christopher J. Hanke, who plays the male love interest. "Having the show take place in heaven and in earth is random and bizarre and fantastic. And it has a strong pop score. The melodies are beautiful, and that's Joe's forte." Jessica Boevers, who plays the female love interest, was quick to point out that, contrary to earlier reports, her character does not have obsessive compulsive disorder. "I think that showed up in a press blurb somewhere, and people have been saying it ever since," Boevers said. "Actually, my character has more of a common story. She's a kid who comes to New York with dreams. She's really intelligent and has so much to offer, but hasn't found her place yet, or where to put her energy."

And why are all of the promotional posters for the show covered with lemons? Hanke wanted to keep that a secret, but Brooks told us: "It's part of the show," he said. "It's what Chris [J. Hanke] says. Part of his Tourette's is that when he's happy, he says `lemon.' It happens over and over again."

Christopher J. Hanke and Jessica Boevers perform during the press preview for <i>In My Life</i>.
Christopher J. Hanke and Jessica Boevers perform during the press preview for In My Life. Photo by Aubrey Reuben