by Skylar Kangas
The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre personifies and pokes fun at mid-life maladies in their latest production, Mid-Life, A Crisis Musical.
Reality hits hard during middle age, which is a period of time associated with several unsavory rites of passage: menopause, thinning hair, loss of hearing, wrinkled skin, arthritis, weight gain, and the occasional loss of sexual drive. The Chanhassen Dinner Theatre personifies and pokes fun at all of these mid-life maladies in their latest production, Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical.
The show looks to provide insight and explanation into that sacred juncture in one’s life where red convertibles and reading glasses are accompanied by divorce papers and proctology exams. With the cast, writers, and director all hovering around middle age themselves, the realities of mid-life are reflected as something other than depression and grey hair; comic relief took center stage, poking and prodding at the lighter side of what is often seen as a sensitive subject.
There are two acts, each act consisting of a dozen skits in which mid-life moments occur. From a sketch about “My Lost Love,” namely hair; to a scene for “Turning 5-0,” the harsh adages of old age are available for witness and wittiness, and I promise, you will laugh.
This musical was jocular, yet realistic and believable. The performance takes a turn from the funny and focuses a scene on the parents of the characters, who are now geriatric and losing touch with reality. There is one melody, “The Long Goodbye,” comprised of love, laughter, and loss, where tears are shed within the audience and reality bites, and it bites hard.
Playwrights Jim and Bob Walton are equipped with Broadway credentials and veteran experience. They have refined their comedic genius and displayed it with a Chanhassen twist. Artistic Director Michael Brindisi and the Walton Brothers joined forces ... giving birth to Mid-Life, The Crisis Musical.
Mid-Life, A Crisis Musical is a musical collage of witticism and adventure, verbally spelled out through song and choreography that paints the perfect picture of reaching that pivotal middle age.