Monday, November 8, 2010

A Story about Friendship

Friday evening, a friend and I went to the opening night of Contra Costa Civic Theater’s new show, The Story of My Life.  It was incredible.  An exploration into the depth of relationships.

The Story of My Life is a two-man show, and it’s a musical.  There isn’t a moment of the play when both men aren’t on stage engaged in the story.  There’s some serious acting ability involved here.  The two men have been friends since they were children, and the play goes back and forth between the present and their childhood memories, the stories of their lives.  It begins as one friend, the successful best-selling author, attempts to prepare the eulogy for the other friend’s funeral.

At this point, the two aren’t really friends anymore.  I mean, they sort of are.  To the one who has past away, the friend who is a bit eccentric and loving and humble, they were always best friends.  To the author, the friendship was one of those things you just grow out of.

It’s a very moving story, heartbreaking at times.  These two friends are up there reminiscing as the author attempts to express his feelings in the eulogy.  Stories about all the happy times in their lives and about their struggles, pieced together by both of them.

But the author isn’t really trying to figure out how to express his feelings.  He’s trying to figure out what his feelings are.  As he struggles to figure out what happened to his friend, why he’s here battling to write a eulogy,  he realizes that he has pushed everyone out of his life, including his best friend.  He has these excuses for what he’s done: he needs to focus on his career, he has to sort out his thoughts, he must establish stability in his life, and he is going to do it all on his own without anyone else’s help because he doesn’t need anyone!

The best friend sees it coming, the audience sees it coming, but the ‘successful’ man doesn’t see it coming. *Poof* before he knows it, he’s completely alone.  Alone and lost.  Having pushed all the inspiration out of his life, he’s unable to write.  Unable to succeed.  Alone.


As an audience member, it was heartbreaking to sit there and watch this happen.  Though it is fiction, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander to old friends, to relationships I’ve brushed away, to struggling souls I know who seem determined to push everyone out of their lives.  That’s the point of the play, to make you realize the value of your friends.  The director even said during the post-production talk, ‘after you all call that friend you haven’t talked to in awhile, come join us for punch.’  Luckily, I had a good friend sitting next to me.

For those in the Bay Area, the show runs weekends until November 28.  Tickets.


Post Script: one of the really neat things about this show was that I could see The Great Ecclestone playing either role very well.  Maybe someday, I will get to see that.


Baby Makes Three said...

That sounds like an amazing experience. Even just reading your post about it, I feel like reaching out to friends that I may have pushed away. Your writing as always, is beautiful!

goldenrail said...

Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for reading. :)
Call your friends; it's never a bad idea. (Ok, almost never).