Gets and Chase Expected to Be Pals of Musical Story; Goodspeed Will Host Tryout

News   Gets and Chase Expected to Be Pals of Musical Story; Goodspeed Will Host Tryout
The Broadway-bound two-actor Canadian musical, The Story of My Life, will be tested by Goodspeed Musicals this fall in a production starring Malcolm Gets and Will Chase.
Malcolm Gets
Malcolm Gets Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Director Richard Maltby Jr. told Playbill columnist Harry Haun that an October run by Goodspeed in Connecticut is planned. previously reported that producer Chase Mishkin was shepherding the show toward a January 2009 start on Broadway.

Goodspeed has not made an official announcement, nor have Mishkin and her producing partners. It would likely play Goodspeed's home for developing shows, the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT, where the Broadway-bound 13 recently ran.

The tale of a lifelong friendship, The Story of My Life has book by Brian Hill and music and lyrics by Neil Bartram.

Chase (Aida, Miss Saigon, The Full Monty, High Fidelity) and Malcolm Gets ("Caroline in the City," Amour) will play boyhood pals.

A recent description explains the show this way: "Thomas Weaver is a best-selling, award-winning author. Alvin Kelby was his best friend for 30 years. But time can test the bonds of love and 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." *

Playbill previously reported that a January 2009 run on Broadway was the aim of producers. Mishkin is one of the producers of the new Broadway musical Passing Strange.

According to a casting notice, the production will feature musical direction by David Holcenberg. Leonard Solloway is the show's general manager.

Tony Award winner Brent Carver and Jeffrey Kuhn starred in the world premiere of The Story of My Life at CanStage in Toronto in fall 2006. Michael Bush directed that production. At that time composer-lyricist Bartram told, "We started writing The Story of My Life because we wanted to explore the nature of lifelong friendships and how those relationships that develop during childhood can change the trajectory of our lives. We also wanted to write an intimate story. Something that, we hope, everyone can relate to on some level."

Hill added, "We've each had people who have affected our lives profoundly, even though we may not have known it at the time. Essentially this show is a tribute to them."

In an earlier casting notice, Thomas was described as a "successful and charismatic writer of inspirational stories who has embraced success at the expense of his personal life. The play follows his journey from a carefree six-year-old to a conflicted and emotionally blocked 35-year-old." Alvin is a "youthful, childlike and sensitive free-spirit with a unique perspective on life. Also possesses an undercurrent of serenity. His adoration for his friend is complete and unconditional."

Maltby, known as the lyricist partner of composer David Shire, wrote songs for the musicals Closer Than Ever, Big, Baby and Take Flight. The latter made its world premiere in London. A cast album on PS Classics preserves the score.

Maltby has also directed the Broadway productions of Ring of Fire, Fosse, Ain't Misbehavin' and Baby. He won the Tony for his direction of the original production of Ain't Misbehavin'.

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