First staged at the New York Theatre Festival in 2004, Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical presents a hilarious romp through the highlights and humiliation of those golden years where rites of passage include menopause and prostate exams.
Presented by: StageDoor Dinner Theatre Venue: StageDoor Dinner Theatre, Bowen Hills (Brisbane) Friday, March 11, 2011
First staged at the New York Theatre Festival in 2004, Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical presents a hilarious romp through the highlights and humiliation of those golden years where rites of passage include menopause and prostate exams. Written by brothers Bob and Jim Walton, the comic musical revue can be likened to the social satire of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Menopause The Musical. However, Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical also adds into the mix, the maladies of the male condition as well. Stage Door Dinner Theatre is the perfect venue to present the Australasian Premiere of the production with its intimate cabaret setting. The set was a simple yet effective backdrop with two screens displaying the titles of each vignette and some light entertainment between scene changes. In this media hungry, time famished era, this was a great way to cover any scene changes (which were quick anyway), and help break up the material, especially after the more somber moments of the show. There were a number of highlights in the show, beginning with the very clever patter song ‘Turning 40’, performed by Damien Lee. Building on the momentum was the Cinderalla song ‘Biological Clock’, perfectly executed by the very talented Natalie Mead, who played the character of a single 30-something woman whose uterus was going to turn into a pumpkin if she didn’t find some sperm by midnight. This song was my personal favourite for the night (probably because it spoke to me the loudest). I also love a good revenge song, “He Got What He Deserves”, which was performed by the three female members of the cast (Colleen Crisp, Susan Stenlake, and Natalie Mead). Portraying three divorced women at their thirty year high school reunion, these ladies have the last laugh as they toast to their loser ex-husbands. The second act opener “Classical Menopause” was a great ensemble number where all six cast members were able to showcase impressive harmonies. “What Did I Come In Here For?” performed by Alan Davidson, was a song I think everyone in the audience could relate to, and “Weekend Warriors” needs an honorable mention just for Andrew Nathan’s costume. But while there were many cleverly written songs, which were performed with great comic effect, there was one song which I didn’t think fitted into the comic song cycle, ‘The Long Goodbye’. Other reviews described it as a bitter-sweet poignant moment that gave depth to an otherwise light-hearted, surface layer look at aging. However, I did not think it bitter-sweet. I just thought it was very sad and I didn’t need or want to be reminded of the frailty of life when I was out at the theatre having such a good time. As I write this review, it still brings tears to my eyes, which I have to admit the deep effect is testament to the great writing of the composers. And while I understand the need for light and shade in a show, I just don’t think this type of show needed the shade to be that dark. Overall, I enjoyed the Australasian Premiere of Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical, presented by Stage Door Dinner Theatre. It is a show definitely worth remembering.
Booking information: (07) 3216 1115 or visit www.stagedoordinnertheatre.com.auUntil Sat 30 April 2011