I bought the cast recording of The Story Of My Life primarily as a long-time Malcolm Gets fan. I had heard of everyone else involved in the production, but didn't know their work well, if at all. What started as a purchase to add to my Malcolm Gets collection has become, perhaps, my favorite musical of all time. I was not fortunate enough to see the production live, but the cast recording is so visual that I almost feel as if I have. I can see the look on Alvin's face at the end of 'Independence Day' when Tom says "Don't come." I can see Tom's disappointment in himself during 'I Didn't See Alvin'. And I can see the mutual catharsis of 'Angels In The Snow'. You will listen to this recording - beginning to end - over and over. You will pick your first favorite song (quite likely 'Mrs. Remington' or 'The Butterfly'), and then as you listen, you will go deeper. You will hear subtle lines from Alvin and Tom that you didn't realize were there. You will hear chords in Neil Bartram's brilliant score that make you nearly cry - because you know what's coming next. And then you will discover new favorites that took a little longer to reach you, because you had to understand the characters better before you could understand the song ('Here's Where It Begins', 'People Carry On', and 'This Is It' come immediately to mind).
I would challenge all potential buyers to stretch themselves - emotionally, artistically - and buy this recording. Malcolm Gets doesn't disappoint. No one does complicated, yet completely understandable and identifiable characters as well as Malcolm Gets. And I am now a great fan of Will Chase as well. The inner turmoil he presents with Thomas is heartbreaking, yet entertaining. Mostly, these two guys make you wish you had grown up with Alvin and Tom...but then, didn't we all grow up with an Alvin, and a Tom? Bartram and Hill have me hooked for life. The emotions they evoke through this beautiful, tragic, hilarious (the adjectives could go on and on) musical practically guarantee their future success and staying power.
I can't stress enough my love for this recording. If you are on the fence...just buy it. You will be glad you did.