Forty The Musical — A Slice of Midlife Crisis, follows sisters Catherine and Liza Kennedy on a journey from childhood to middle adulthood. Like most siblings, they couldn’t be more different. Catherine is dutiful and pleasing. Liza has a killer instinct and a burning desire to get ahead — of everyone. What they share is a yearning to live the lives they imagined since they were little girls.
Early in our story, we’re introduced to Ken Shames, the object of Catherine’s affection. To Catherine, settling down with Ken and leading a white picket existence is her idea of the perfect life. This dream confounds Catherine’s little sister, who views love as a weakness and men as an impediment to achieving success. Fast forward thirty years and Catherine has indeed gotten her man and Liza has climbed her way to the top. Well, almost. The only person standing between her and the top of the ladder is none other than her sister’s now-husband, Ken.
With a Wall Street firm partnership nearly in her grasp, Liza plans a fortieth birthday bash to end all bashes. As the big event draws ever closer, we re-enter the lives of our protagonists and are introduced to the supporting characters in their lives. Arthur Wallace, the benevolent and venerable head of Wallace and Kane, where Liza and Ken work alongside one another, is close to deciding who will reach partner when the curmudgeonly Henry Kane retires.
Also in the employ of Wallace and Kane is Kevin Campbell, the lighthearted and loyal friend to Liza. Nothing escapes Kevin’s keen eye and biting wit, not the least of which is the moment everything changes between our lead characters; the result of an indiscretion that alters the course of our story and everyone involved. And while Liza has Kevin to fall back on in her time of need, Catherine has the support of her own close-knit group of friends. Recently divorced Marcie Johnson, scandal seeking Tricia Abbot and walking suburban housewife stereotype Patsy DeSimone may bring completely different perspectives to their friendship with Catherine but their allegiance is unbreakable.
When the curtain falls on Act One it shatters every myth, every dream and every preconception of what life is in one’s forties.
Forty. It’s either reverse course or succumb to the decisions that brought you to this juncture. And it is a juncture. There’s no in between. Socio-economic status, political affiliations, life and work experiences matter little because the forces one wrestles with in this decade are universal human experiences created by time. Every life cycle, unless cut unnaturally short, has a mid-point and it’s where our ensemble exists at this moment.
Forty is a snapshot of life’s great squeeze.
With enough life experience under their belts to finally make a difference, forty-somethings finally know who they are. They have purpose and meaning. They possess a confidence gilded by scars worn as badges; they have the skills to succeed and the energy to make use of them. But this station in life comes at a cost, for the one ingredient that eludes each and every forty-something is the most precious resource of them all: time.
Forty The Musical is about time. Finding the time to care for the parents who cared for them. Time to guide and nurture their children through the fragile adolescent years. Time to balance between meals, mortgages, soccer fields and sex. Time to pursue dreams that hang frustratingly in the balance but never closer than they seem at this very moment.
Some arrive gradually at this point, the result of a life meticulously planned but perhaps never enjoyed. Others come careening into the moment having lived life to the fullest but realizing the hourglass is now half empty at the top. The former lot is prime for the proverbial mid-life crisis, the latter for nervous breakdown. Life’s great irony, of course, is that the years spent preparing both physically and mentally for every challenge on the horizon leaves even the finest human specimen emotionally spent.
Heartrending choices, disastrous love triangles and the realization that fate trumps even the most meticulously planned life push the characters in Forty The Musical to their individual limits. Set to a rollicking score that weaves together larger-than-life Broadway numbers with memorable mega ballads and thick, intricate harmonies, Forty The Musical grabs hold of your heart and your throat and never lets go.