Monday, February 23, 2009

Jill Krementz Photo Journal - "The Story of My Life"

Curtain call for last Thursday night's opening of "The Story of My Life."
On Thursday night, a charming new musical, "The Story of My Life," starring Malcolm Gets and Will Chase opened at the Booth Theater. It is the story of a long friendship of two young men growing up in a small town, bonding over their mutual love of Frank Capra’s 1946 movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Other shared interests focus on Mrs. Remington, their first–grade school teacher, the author Mark Twain, the fun they have as young boys making angels in the snow on Christmas eve, as well as their love of nature and the power of a single butterfly which metamorphoses into the show’s most powerful song: “The Butterfly.”

The play runs ninety minutes without an intermission and I was transfixed, as were the people around me, the entire time. Malcolm Gets and Will Chase give beautiful nuanced performances; the all-white set by Robert Brill is perfect, Richard Maltby, Jr.’s direction superb, and both Brian Hill (who wrote the book) and Neil Bartram (music and lyrics) must be commended.

Once again Chase Mishkin, one of the four producers, but THE one who has been most responsible for ushering this fine play into the Booth, has shown that her singular vision is a beacon on Broadway.

Following the performance there was a celebration at Sardi’s.
Marquis of the Booth Theater.
T-shirts for sale in lobby of Booth Theater. Austin McKinnis (voice of young Alvin) with Richard Maltby, Jr., Director of "The Story of My Life."
Alvin McKinnis center with his grandfather, Walter Harders on left and his father, John McKinnis on right. Tovah Feldshuh.
Tom and Carolyn Meehan.
"Golden Girl" Rue McLanahan. Producer Chase Mishkin with Tom Meehan.
Bernadette Peters.
Chase Mishkin, Rue McLanahan, and Bernadette Peters.
Sir Peter Shaffer under portrait of himself (top left).
Will Chase and Malcolm Gets, co-stars of "The Story of My Life."
Charles Strouse. Charlie Smith.
Paul Libin with Tovah Feldshuh.
Producer Jack Dalgleish's table with gifts for his guests.
Charles Nelson with Playbill's Harry Haun. Nicholas and Liam Maltby, son and grandson of the Director, Richard Maltby, Jr.
Chris Curtis with Tom Meehan. Curtis is a composer who is working with Meehan on two projects: "Dave the Musical" and another musical about Charlie Chaplin called "Beyond the Limelight." Mr. Curtis can be seen (and heard) performing at the restaurant, Chez Josephine, on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Sean Yule, who sells subsidiary rights for Knopf, Doubleday, and Random House with Michael Knowles.
Betty Jacobs and Florence Libin. Chase Mishkin with her god-daughter, Alexandra Ruddy, who is a 22-year-old acting student at NYU.
Unfortunately, “The Story of My Life” closed on Sunday after 8 performances and 17 Previews. One of the sad aspects of these economic times is that decisions have to be made with the wallet and not the heart. I loved it. And so did the people around me.
A final final curtain call by Malcolm Gets and Will Chase after Sunday's matinee performance of "The Story of My Life."
... and two final bows to a standing ovation.
General Manager of the show, Leonard Soloway. Producers Chase Mishkin and Jack Dalgleish after final performance.
The ghost light is on the empty stage. This is an old tradition originating because it was believed that there was a ghost in every theater. Call me crazy but it looks like there is one residing at the Booth.
A disheartened Chase Mishkin leaves the Booth after final performance of "The Story of My Life."
All photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.