- August 7, 2013
The Venice Theatre’s Cabaret audience found the over-the-hill antics presented in the musical revue, “MID-LIFE! The Crisis Musical” amusing and entertaining. The show is a compilation of clichés associated with aging baby boomers performed to song and dance, with book, music and lyrics written by Bob Walton and Jim Walton. Act I covers such iconic states of life in one’s 40s as biological clock ticking for women, and the weekend warrior phenomenon for men. The basic concept is best exemplified by a parody of big Broadway musical numbers, in which nurses and technicians burst into song and dance, in hyper-Broadway style, on the topic of mammograms.
Act II progresses to the 50s and begins with the funniest bit, “What Did I Come in Here For?” when a metal detector becomes necessary to find the car keys. Under the direction and choreography of Jared E. Walker, a stalwart and well-cast group of veteran performers, takes on its task with great gusto and pluck. Tony Boothby as Man 1 fears turning into his dad and gives a fine imitation of a homeboy. Man 2, who bemoans prescription medicine, “which may cause comb-overs,” is nicely performed by Chris Caswell. Randy Mennella plays Man 3, comically mourning for his lost hair. Andrea Keddell and Cathy Baudrit-Noeth are funny and appealing as Woman 1 and 2. Melissa Cripps brings in Woman 3 with verve and zest. The three of them click in a scene involving divorced women at a reunion.
Music Director Rick Bogner has done a fine job with a lackluster score. The final song, “I’m Not Ready,” is poignant, bespeaking a truth that we all feel in our hearts, in the words of the director’s mother, “It’s like you’re still 18 and trapped in some old body ... how did it happen so fast?”