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2-actor musical to be performed at Smoot Theatre

Dedicated to John Lee

Rehearsing for the upcoming show “The Story of My Life” at the Smoot Theatre are, from left, Josh Martin, Peter Sour and R.J. Lowe. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — R.J. Lowe and Josh Martin are reviving their award-winning performances in “The Story of My Life” at 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Smoot Theatre.

Proceeds from the two-actor show will go to the John Lee Theatre Scholarship Fund at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.

Lee, a director and actor at the Actors Guild of Parkersburg and a former theater director at Parkersburg High School, died in 2016 at the age of 86.

Lee directed Lowe and Martin in “The Story of My Life,” which was first performed at the Actors Guild in December 2009. The musical ran on Broadway earlier that year.

After his longtime friend Alvin (played by Lowe) dies, Thomas, a writer, (played by Martin) struggles to write a eulogy for his friend.

John Lee

Lowe described “The Story of My Life” as a “sweet story that anyone can identify with.” The show involves love, friendships and how our lives are affected by circumstances, Lowe said.

“It’s a beautiful show … brilliantly written,” Lowe said. The show was created by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill.

The show reminds us of the importance of staying in touch with the people we care about, Martin said.

Lowe and Martin won awards at community theater competitions for their performances in “The Story of My Life.” Lowe won best actor and Martin won acting excellence at a multi-state competition.

The two local actors last performed in the show in May 2011. Martin estimated they performed “The Story of My Life” on stage 10 times.

Martin had the idea a few years ago to bring back the show as a fundraiser for the Lee scholarship fund.

For Lowe, acting in the show is “deeply humbling,” an honor to do in Lee’s memory.

“He (John Lee) touched so many lives,” Lowe said. The show is another opportunity to keep Lee’s legacy alive, he said.

Martin said he enjoyed performing in the show with Lee as director.

“It was a fantastic collaboration,” Martin said, among Lowe, Lee and Martin.

The revived show “pays homage to John’s memory,” Martin said.

Lee taught Martin about the techniques for directing a show, Martin said.

“I miss John a lot,” Martin said.

Peter Sour is music director of “The Story of My Life.”

Tickets are $15 and are on sale at smootheatre.com or call 304-422-7529. A VIP reception, for an additional $10, will be held in the Smoot’s Wakley Hall after the show.

Paul LaPann can be reached at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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