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"Emma" is pure

delight p. 19

Volume 2, Issue 23 • Feb. 4-17, 2011 • San Diego Uptown News

14 Film | 15

Robert J. Townsend and Chad Borden star in “The Story of my Life” for one last weekend. (Courtesy of Ken Jacques Photography)

Intimate musical makes a San Diego comeback

‘The Story of My Life’ may not have wowed New Yorkers, but it more than impresses local audiences

By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Theatre Critic

In the middle of its second season, San Diego Musical The- atre presents Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s moving 2006 musical,

“The Story of My Life” through February 6 only. Never mind that the piece bombed on Broadway in 2009. Seeing this beautiful pro- duction convinces the onlooker that the intimate show was simply too good for Broadway.


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Thomas Weaver (Robert J.

Townsend) and Alvin Kelby (Chad Borden) met as 10-year-olds. The widowed Mr. Kelby, whom the boys compare to George Bailey in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” ran the small town’s book- store, The Writer’s Block, where the boys hang out a lot. Alvin, who loves books and is an inveterate storyteller, introduces Thomas to author Mark Twain. Each Christ- mas, to create and perpetuate their own tradition, the boys make snow angels before watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on television. The friendship continues through adulthood, with Thomas going off to college and becoming a famous and successful writer in the city, and Alvin, a la George Bailey, taking over the bookstore when his father becomes too ill to work. Thomas returns for Christmas

see Life, page 17

(l to r) Jonathan Spivey as Howard Wagner and Jeffrey DeMunn as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” directed by Pam MacKinnon at The Old Globe, now through Feb. 27. (Photo by Henry DiRocco)

Old Globe production

falters but doesn't sputter Leading man Jeffrey DeMunn saves the day by breathing a breath of fresh air into 'Death'

By Patricia Morris Buckley SDUN Theatre Critic

“Death of a Salesman” is one of those plays that was revolutionary when it premiered, hence the Pulit- zer Prize for Drama for playwright Arthur Miller, but over time has turned into one of those dramas we attend because it’s supposed to be good for our theatrical diets. While the Old Globe Theatre’s

production is certainly the caliber you’d expect of San Diego’s pre- miere theater, it has several major hurdles it attempts to overcome, yet it barely clears. There is one exception and it's

the powerhouse performance of Jeffrey DeMunn as disenchanted

“DEATH OF A SALESMAN” When: Through Feb. 27

Where: Old Globe Theatre Tickets: $29-$67 Info: (619) 23-GLOBE Web:

salesman Willy Loman. Audiences may not know his name as well as his face. DeMunn has been in hundreds of movies (“The Green Mile,” “Shawshank Redemption, “Burn After Reading”), TV shows (he currently stars as Dale in “The Walking Dead”) and on Broadway, where he’s been nominated for a Tony.

DeMunn moves with amazing

fluidity from a timid young buck to a disillusioned head of family to a 63-year-old who has lost his grip on reality. He always feels true to the role, so much so that he slips inside it in an expertly skilled manner that suggests theatrical camouflage.

And while the rest of the cast in fine, they just don’t come up to DeMunn’s level. While the play is supposed to be about Willy and his personal struggles with expectations vs. reality, his family is a large part of his world. The role of Biff, Willy’s oldest son and greatest failure, is a classic theater character. Lucas Caleb Moseley is more convincing as the older Biff than the younger boy, yet lacks the

see Salesman, page 16

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