THE STORY OF MY LIFE” DELIGHTS MTC AUDIENCES


BONNIE GOLDBERG

If you’re lucky enough to have a B.F.F., a best friend forever, consider yourself blessed.  Whether you sealed your pledge of loyalty in an autograph book, with a finger stick of blood oath or around a campfire at midnight, you know the importance of having someone to share your most intimate thoughts with, call on for help at any hour, to laugh or to cry with, to just be there.

Women have long held the monopoly on this type of relationship.  Men don’t easily get emotional and exchange feelings with another male, especially if the topic is deeper than cars, sports or women.  The exception to the rule is the fast friendship of Alvin Kelby and Thomas Weaver who meet when they are six years old, thanks to Mrs. Remington’s famous first grade Halloween party.

You can join in the festivities and it is well worth the trip, by running over to Westport’s black box theater at Music Theatre of Connecticut by Sunday, February 7,  to see “The Story of My Life.”  This new play by Neil Bartram, music and lyrics, and Brian Hill, book, with the sensitive direction of Kevin Connors, is a small musical gem.

The play opens with an ending;  Alvin has just died and Thomas has returned to the small town they grew up in to honor a promise made when they were boys.  Whoever died first, the other would deliver the eulogy.  Now Thomas, a published author who has won accolades and awards, can’t find the words he needs.  Much of his success as a writer has come from penning stories about Alvin and their exploits together: making snow angels and watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve, throwing sticks over a waterfall, squashing bugs and marveling at butterflies, sharing the literary adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Whether Thomas acknowledges it or not, Alvin, who stayed home and cared for his ailing father and ran his dad’s bookstore, was the writer’s muse and inspiration for all his achievements.  Now, in death, Thomas must face Alvin and make peace for a final goodbye.  The songs are an emotional and beautiful addition to this highly personal story of male bonding. Rob Sutton as Tom and Michael Di Liberto as Alvin are wonderful in their respective roles.

For tickets ($40), call MTC, 246 Post Road East, Westport at 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com.  Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Let Thomas and Alvin take you along on their journey of remembrance and inspire you to renew an old acquaintance or two.  Bring some Kleenex, just in case.

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