The Story of My Life, With Gets and Chase, Aims for Broadway in February 2009

News   The Story of My Life, With Gets and Chase, Aims for Broadway in February 2009 The Story of My Life, the intimate two-actor musical about the contours of a lifelong friendship — and its sudden ending — seems a sure thing for Broadway in early 2009.
Story of My Life star Malcolm Gets in rehearsal
Story of My Life star Malcolm Gets in rehearsal Photo by Diane Sobolewski

A theatre has not yet been announced, but a casting notice is seeking an understudy for the roles of quirky bookstore owner Alvin Kelby and best-selling writer Thomas Weaver, who is creatively blocked as he attempts a tribute to his friend. As in the recent Goodspeed Musicals developmental run of the show in Connecticut, Alvin will be played by Malcolm Gets and Thomas will be played by Will Chase.

Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr. (Ain't Misbehavin', Fosse, Ring of Fire) will direct. The casting notice indicates tentative Broadway dates of Feb. 3 (first preview) and Feb. 19 (opening). An official announcement has not been made by producer Chase Mishkin.

The Story of My Life premiered at Toronto's Canadian Stage Company in fall 2006, and has been revised and refined recently. This will mark the Broadway debut of Canadian writers Neil Bartram (music and lyrics) and Brian Hill (book), who are now New Yorkers.

Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick (Broadway's A Catered Affair, 110 in the Shade, LoveMusik, A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, Nine, Into the Woods, Company and Titanic, among others). Musical director is David Holcenberg (whose Broadway credits include Good Vibrations, Mamma Mia! and Seussical). At Goodspeed's intimate Norma Terris Theatre Oct. 10-Nov. 2, the memory-steeped one-set show (with a monochromatic, expressionistic scenic design by Robert Brill) had a lush sound thanks to a nine-piece band that showed off the finery of Tunick's work.

Here's how the casting notice characterizes The Story of My Life: It "tells the story of Thomas Weaver, a successful writer who returns to his hometown...[and is] unable to find the appropriate words to celebrate his friend's life, Thomas pages through the story of their lives together, from their unconventional introduction to their ultimate estrangement, in search of his role in his friend's untimely death." The show follows the characters from age six to 35.

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.

The Story of My Life 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.

The creative team for the Goodspeed Musicals run of The Story of My Life included costume designer Wade Laboissonniere, lighting designer Ken Billington and sound designer Carl Casella.

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
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