In order to like or identify with a character, you have to feel sympathy for his plight. Take George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life. Whatever you may think of his stand against the Mr. Potters of the world, the movie hinges on whether an audience indulges his moment of self-pity on the bridge before he jumps.
I mention Bailey because I have never felt sympathy for him and because The Story of My Life, now receiving an emotionally potent production at Delaware Theatre Company, borrows heavily from Frank Capra's film, if to ultimately different effect.
Lyricist Neil Bartram takes his cues from Stephen Sondheim, here watered down in cleverness. Brian Hill's book begins with a eulogy, delivered by Tom (Ben Dibble, recently in the Arden's Parade) for his best friend, Alvin (Rob McClure, Chaplin on Broadway). If it sounds melancholy, well, it is.