Long Story Short, Milburn & Vigoda's Musical About a Lifelong Love, Opens in CA Oct. 9

By Kenneth Jones
09 Oct 2009

Long Story Short stars Melody Butiu and Robert Brewer
Long Story Short stars Melody Butiu and Robert Brewer
Photo by Elazar C. Harel

Songwriter-librettists Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda, co-creators of the musical Striking 12, have revised their 2008 musical Long Story Short for a production that opens Oct. 9 after previews from Oct. 3 at San Diego Repertory Theatre's Lyceum Theatre.

The two-actor musical charts a 50-year relationship between Hope (played by Melody Butiu) and Charles (played by Robert Brewer). Kent Nicholson, who shepherded new scripts at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA, and now develops new musicals for Playwrights Horizons, directs the latest draft of the intimate romantic show. (The world premiere of Long Story Short, directed by Tracy Brigden, was seen in a co-production in Pittsburgh and Palo Alto in 2008.)

Long Story Short is based on David Schulner's play An Infinite Ache.

Performances continue to Nov. 1.

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According to San Diego Rep, "Hope is an Asian American girl from SoCal who falls in love with a Jewish guy from the East Coast named Charles. Time is relative in this wonder-world of storytelling it stops on a dime and, without warning, flies by with a new phrase of delicious music. Unforgettable nights of joy, inexplicable days of pain and a deeply moving catharsis are all present in the couples journey as their love grows, fades, is tested and re-tested."

Long Story Short has set design by Victoria Petrovich. The band is under the musical direction of Mark Danisovszky.

Milburn and Vigoda are two-thirds of the pop band GrooveLily. Together, they have written music and/or lyrics for Striking 12 (Off-Broadway, regional, and Theatreworks, directed by Ted Sperling), Sleeping Beauty Wakes (Center Theatre Group and Deaf West), Toy Story: The Musical (Disney), Long Story Short (Pittsburgh City Theatre, Theatreworks), Tina Landau's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Paper Mill Playhouse/McCarter Theatre) and Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (Theatreworks).

In 2006 and 2008, they both received the Jonathan Larson Award. Milburn and Vigoda are married and have a four-year-old son named Mose.

Nicholson is the director of musical theatre for Playwrights Horizons in New York City. His Off-Broadway directing credits include Wet by Liz Duffy Adams for The Summer Play Festival and Five Flights by Adam Bock for Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. His San Francisco production of Five Flights was named one of the top ten cultural events of 2002 by the San Francisco Chronicle. He has directed world-premiere productions by writers as diverse as Sheila Callaghan, Elaine Romero and Trevor Allen. Recent credits include the West Coast premiere of Small Tragedy by Craig Lucas and the first post-Broadway production of Grey Gardens.

For tickets and information, call (619) 544-1000 or visit www.sdrep.org.