Seeking to integrate life-long learning and long-latent passions, playwright Gail Phaneuf has collaborated with composer Ernie Lijoi, both native Bostonians, to produce Monsters!—the musical. The story: Samantha, the comedic protagonist, finds herself wondering about her 40 “lost” years on planet Earth. As no one has yet escaped alive, this particular milestone birthday has the feckless and anxious lead (played by Lisa Beausoleil) facing well-known demons such as Fear, Apathy, and Body (self-loathing). With “half of a life” lived (one of the songs), her existential queries extend from half-in-half in the morning to the whole gift (on her doorstep) to unwrap by evening. Joined by friends, the “old” and corrective but kindly kind, and a mother, with past and future rolled into one-half, the delirious daughter discovers through a reflective romp that her struggle to redeem is ours and vice versa.
For Phaneuf and Lijoi, old college friends who shared a “fiendish sense of humor,” with so many friends turning 40, “it’s little wonder the play touches on themes of midlife angst and pursuing new dreams.” As for cred: Monsters! was a finalist in the Rod Parker Playwriting competition at Emerson College, where it earned a first reading at the Greene Theater. The show then continued with a second reading in New York. Joe Antoun, Artistic Director of Boston’s Centastage, will produce the show, and Waltham-based Christine MacInally of the Performance Factory will choreograph.
Performances will be held in the Plaza Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, with the opening day on Thursday, September 14th. The production will run through Saturday, September 30th with show times on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and on Tuesday, September 26th at 7:30 pm. Matinee performances will be on Saturday, September 16th and 22nd at 4:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $32 individually, with discounts available to groups and students, through Boston Theatre Scene and the box office at the Boston Center for the Arts.