Goodspeed Confirms Musical Story for Fall; Design Team Announced

News   Goodspeed Confirms Musical Story for Fall; Design Team Announced Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut confirmed July 16 that it will produce the two-actor musical The Story of My Life, an inspiring tale of friendship, as the fall production at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.

Will Chase
Will Chase Photo by Ben Strothmann

The production will begin Oct. 10 and is scheduled through Nov. 2. Playbill.com previously reported the plan, which includes direction by Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr., and a cast of Tony nominee Malcolm Gets and Will Chase.

The Chester run, at Goodspeed's developmental space, marks a first step toward a 2009 Broadway bow for the musical that was embraced by critics and audiences in Canada. Separate producers, including Chase Mishkin, will shepherd the show beyond Connecticut; The Story of My Life is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.

The Story of My Life has music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill.

According to Goodspeed, "This new musical tells the story of two childhood friends and how that friendship profoundly defined their lives. Thomas Weaver is a best selling, award-winning author. Alvin Kelby was his best friend for thirty 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, whose Broadway credits include The Moliere Comedies, Amour (Tony nomination as Best Actor in a Musical) and concerts of Passion and Dreamgirls, will play Alvin. Gets may be best known to audiences as Richard on the television comedy "Caroline in the City." Thomas will be played by Chase, whose Broadway credits include High Fidelity, Aida, The Full Monty, Rent and Miss Saigon.

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, will provide 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.

Robert Brill, who designed the Broadway productions of Cabaret, Assassins, A Streetcar Named Desire, Anna in the Tropics and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, will design the sets. Wade Laboissonniere will design the costumes. The lighting designer is Ken Billington, whose previous designs for Goodspeed Musicals include The 60's Project; They All Laughed!; Road to Hollywood; and Red, Hot & Blue, as well as many shows on Broadway including the revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago and Hello, Dolly!

Carl Casella, whose credits include Xanadu and Ring of Fire, will design sound.

Tickets are on sale now to Goodspeed members and will go on sale to the general public on Sept. 5. For more information 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.