Maltby-Directed Musical Story of My Life Gets Revisions for Chicago Premiere, Launching Nov. 7

News   Maltby-Directed Musical Story of My Life Gets Revisions for Chicago Premiere, Launching Nov. 7
Davis Duffield and Jack Noseworthy play lifelong pals in the Nov. 7 Chicago premiere of the short-lived Broadway musical The Story of My Life, directed by Tony Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. for the new producing organization Chicago Muse Theatre.

Jack Noseworthy
Jack Noseworthy Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The two-character musical by Neil Bartram (music & lyrics) and Brian Hill (book) ran on Broadway for one week in 2009, when Maltby also directed. A cast album preserves the score. Regional productions of the delicate show have since sprouted, and Hill and Bartram told in recent weeks that the Chicago run (through Jan. 2, 2011) features some revisions to script and score.

Songwriter Bartram said, "We thought we'd look specifically at how the audience is brought into the show at the beginning. It kicks into gear faster now. We also excised a scene and replaced it with a new song. And along the way we did some other nips and tucks and adjustments — stuff that rose to the surface after some time away from the project."

Librettist Hill said, "We were so proud of the Broadway production — creative team, cast, just about everything — and the show has never been far from our minds since. When Richard was asked to direct the Chicago premiere he called us to see if we wanted to look at revising anything. We thought it would be a great chance to revisit the show. I don't think that you're ever finished writing something. You could revise until the cows come home. Every day you think, 'why don't we…' and 'how about...'"

The Story of My Life plays at the Victory Gardens Zacek McVay Theater at the Biograph Theater, 2433 North Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL. Opening night is Nov. 9 at 7:30 PM.

Duffield (Broadway's Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline) plays eccentric Alvin (Alvin), and Noseworthy (Broadway's Sweet Smell of Success) plays successful novelist Thomas. The title was chosen by Muse with the help of a committee of theatregoers. The intimate musical concerns a novelist preparing a tribute to his lifelong friend.

Sean Cercone, executive director of Chicago Muse (officially, Chicago Music Theatre), serves as producer of the show. CMT formerly operated as Theatre Building Chicago.

Maltby's Broadway directing credits include Ring of Fire, Ain't Misbehavin' and Fosse. He is also respected as a lyricist (Miss Saigon, Song & Dance, Baby, Big, Closer Than Ever and Take Flight). He won a Tony Award for Best Direction for Ain't Misbehavin.

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A reading committee of 35 theatregoers and artists reviewed and rated more than a dozen shows before ranking The Story of My Life as their top choice for production.

According to CMT, "Chicago Music Theatre is seeking to create a strong collaboration and partnership between theatrical artists and audiences as a means of building an engaged community of passionate advocates in the development and production of new musicals."

"We seek to create an experience that starts long before the house lights dim and the overture begins," Cercone said in a statement. "We believe that providing access and context early in the development process of new musicals will build a community of supporters who are eager champions for these new projects."

Chicago Music Theatre "plans to expand the size and involvement of its member groups in identifying and selecting shows for readings, workshops and ultimate production."

Previously operating as Theatre Building Chicago, the company sold its facility on West Belmont in May in order to focus more resources on the development of musical theatre.

"Our members will be provided hands-on opportunities to interact with theatre professionals in the process of selecting promising new works for readings, workshops, a musical theatre festival and ultimate production," Cercone said. "They will be embraced as authentic contributors to the creation and development process."

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