SWOYERSVILLE — They sing about double chins and triple by-pass, losing hair and gaining weight, varicose veins and various other problems of middle age.
“It hits a lot of real-life buttons,” said Blaine McKeown, 53, of Plymouth, who is directing “Midlife! The Crisis Musical” at the Music Box Playhouse. “It pokes fun at just about everything you have to go through.”
“It gives you a chance to laugh about what is to come,” said Jeff Kelly, 27, of Pittston, who spent the last three weeks before opening night growing a beard so he’d look older.
The musical’s light-hearted approach will make people feel better about aging, McKeown said. “It will show them they’re not alone” when they forget where they put their car keys or move a cell phone further away from their eyes or realize they’re starting to sound just like their father.
In a series of vignettes the six people in the cast portray nameless characters who have a certain fluidity. In one scene, for example, 34-year-old Angela Kelly of Dallas is a teen-ager who dismays the older generation by appearing “in a tie-dye t-shirt and hideous yellow skirt, and pregnant out to here.”
In another scene she plays a 38-year-old woman dating a man who “doesn’t want to rush things.” But she hears her biological clock ticking and sings about her situation in a number that rhymes “uterus” with “time will neuter us” and “dead and gone” with “half-past ‘get it on.’ “
“We give you ‘funny’ all through the show. Then we make you cry,” cast member George Steltz, 50, of Hanover Township, said, explaining his song about trying to help aging parents adds a poignancy to the script.
But mostly, audience members can laugh at the stereotypical foibles of mid-life, whether it’s 43-year-old Darren Moore’s portrayal of an “I’ve got to find me a younger girlfriend” kind of individual; 40-year-old Kalen Churcher’s turn as a woman who colors her gray hair and opts for plastic surgery; 43-year-old Cassie Palfey’s character who faces “turning 50, mammograms, LASIK surgery and kids who can’t seem to move out of the house.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT
IF YOU GO
What: ‘Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical’
Where: Music Box Dinner Playhouse, 196 Hughes St., Swoyersville
When: Through June 10 26 with performances 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. Dinner served 90 minutes before showtime.
Tickets: $18 show only; $35 with dinner