MID-LIFE! The Crisis Musical
By Bob Walton and Jim Walton
Directed by Michael Edwards
Musical Direction by Chris Leavey
Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park, FL
Are you suffering from CRS? I thought so. It happens to the best of us, and Merck doesn’t have approval for a pink pill to cure it yet. Meanwhile, the WPPH crew entertains with this revue of silly to subtle music and skits that celebrate that period of life that involves embarrassing birthday parties and LASIK surgery. The first act leans in the silly direction, and after a rousing opener “Welcome to Midlife Lies” Pat Brandt and Kate O’Neal do a number called “Biological Clock”. At 40, he’s not ready for commitment, but she’s hoping to see grandkids before she goes. Guys HATE when this happens. The “Weekend Warriors” skit put all three guys (Michael Edwards, Pat Brandt, and Roy Alan) in basketball togs, and while they can sing, dance and act, there’s one thing none of them can do – handle a basketball. If you sit in the front row, rebound for them, will you? Mr. Edwards comes back for the cute song “Side Effects” and the delicate “My Lost Love.” One of the best bits in the first act is “Mid Life Translator.” You can now get help understanding what your significant other is really saying. Hint – she wants to be noticed, and he wants to fool around. But you knew that already, right?
The second act seems much more heartfelt, even with AARP and proctologist jokes peppering the stage. “Thirty Year Reunion” (Heather Alexander, Kate O’Neal and Lourelene Snedecker) commiserate over divorces, and even though the ex’s were real SOB’s, they still miss that old geezer. A very clever “The Long Goodbye” features Brandt and Snedecker and O’Neal at the park, where their now forgetful parents get to play on the swings. We wrap up with the Disney musical style “I’m Not Ready.” Maybe not, but your choices are narrowing, so enjoy it while you can.
There’s an element of fluff here, but the musical fireworks provide the real entertainment and that’s why we showed up this evening. The topics might be touching or heartbreaking, but when you need a break from parent sitting, this is more fun than hearing about how deep the snow was in World War 2. And what’s CRS? I forget…
For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org