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


San Diego Uptown News | Feb. 4-17, 2011


FROM PAGE 14 LIFE each year.

When the musical opens, it is Christmas. In a few brief words we learn that Alvin is dead. The boys had sworn to write each other’s eu- logy, that is, the first to die would write the other’s, and Thomas sets about composing only to discover that he can’t get past the opening lines: “Each year at Christmas we made angels in the snow….” Over the course of 85 minutes

the two grown men relate the story of their 30-year friendship, looping back to stories and the begin- nings of stories, and gradually, in patchwork fashion, the audience learns more details. In flashbacks, Thomas struggles to understand why Alvin died and what their friendship meant. Both performers are emotion- ally accessible to each other and to the onlookers, as they relate this simple tale of two men who were separated by circumstance and somehow grew apart. Music and book are perfectly integrated. Some mysteries are solved, others remain, and along the way there

are many outstanding, gently funny and touching moments. Among the most memorable pieces are “Mrs. Remington” and “The Butterfly.” Nick DeGruccio sensitively

directs these fine performers upon Tom Buderwitz’s set, which consists of idealized outsize book stacks and shelves and the bridge over the town river. Steven Young is lighting designer and Larry Esau sound designer. Music director Don Le Master leads an unseen three-member ensemble comprising himself on piano, Amy Kalal on reeds and Kimberly Bun- nell on cello. Townsend and Borden play and sing exceptionally well together. They co-starred in the recent Havok Theatre Company production of “The Story of My Life,” which was nominated for a Los Angeles Ovation Award. In mid-January Townsend re- ceived an Ovation Award for his performance.

An unusual musical and an unusual experience, “The Story of My Life” continues through Feb. 6 at the Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza. Tickets are $30-$60.For res- ervations, visit or phone (858) 560-5740.u

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