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BWW Review: THE STORY OF MY LIFE at Broadway Rose

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THE STORY OF MY LIFE is a sweet, uncomplicated musical about friendship. Available for streaming through Feb. 28.

BWW Review: THE STORY OF MY LIFE at Broadway Rose

Broadway Rose continues its streak of excellent streaming offerings this month with THE STORY OF MY LIFE, a sweet two-hander about friendship performed beautifully by Alec Cameron Lugo and Andrew Wade.

I'm at the point in my pandemic streaming that I'm pretty much only interested in two types of things: total fluff or something that tugs at my heartstrings without stressing me out. THE STORY OF MY LIFE falls into the second category. The musical tells the story, entirely in flashbacks, of the friendship between Alvin (Wade) and Thomas (Lugo) from the time they were children through Alvin's untimely death (not a spoiler -- the show opens with Thomas working on the eulogy). It's sweet, familiar, and just the right amount of sentimental.

The two became friends in elementary school, bonding over a shared love of It's a Wonderful Life. Alvin's father, a widower, runs the bookstore in their small town, and Alvin and Thomas share a love of books. Thomas eventually leaves home to go to college, live in the city, and pursue a career as an author, while Alvin gives up his ambition to stay in the small town and run the bookstore after his father gets sick. As Thomas works on the eulogy for his friend, he realizes that Alvin was his creative muse all along. (Again, not a spoiler -- this idea is revealed to the audience early on and the rest of the 90 minutes is a matter of Thomas figuring it out.)

You can see what I mean when I say the musical is familiar -- the plot (book by Brian Hill) has obvious parallels with It's a Wonderful Life as well as some well-known movies in the chick flick canon. The music is also familiar -- Neil Bartram's music and lyrics are clearly very heavily influenced by Sondheim. The result is a show that doesn't contain many surprises, but I found it as warm and comfortable as a favorite sweater. (Protip: if you're a crier like me, be sure to have a tissue in that sweater pocket!)

The appeal of Broadway Rose's production is in no small part due to fine performances by Alec Cameron Lugo and Andrew Wade. Wade, in particular, displays an artless vulnerability that's responsible for most of the heartstring tugging.

As we make our way through this longest-ever-February, I highly recommend you find an evening to make a cup of cocoa, put on that favorite sweater, and enjoy THE STORY OF MY LIFE.

THE STORY OF MY LIFE is available to stream through Feb. 28. More details and tickets here: https://www.broadwayrose.org/

Photo credit: Mark Daniels


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