COMING SOON: ‘Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical’

Stage Door Productions is about to present “Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical” as its annual adult, small cast musical.

“Mid-Life” gives audiences a glance at the joys of growing older and will show a series of scenes and sketches that poke fun at the frustrations of mammograms, love handles, weekend warriors, and proctology exams. The musical also includes witty songs that celebrate forgetfulness, reading glasses, menopause and the wisdom that comes with getting older.

“There are so many super scary things about growing older and this show touches on them. There is beauty in the scary stuff, and the show does a great job of addressing that. The music is fun and silly and touching. It is honest and over the top all at the same time,” said Music Director Shelly Bottorff.

The cast of six includes Nathan Schelle, Sean O’Connor, Jason Laird, Alyssa Sparks, Lori Cassady and Rochelle Green. The show is under the direction of Alyssa Sparks and Shelly Bottorff. The musical pit for this show is Shelly Bottorff, Dean Davis and Nicholas Schelle.

“We have been in stitches at every rehearsal. There is something that everyone will relate to, even if you haven’t quite reached midlife yet,” said Stage Director Alyssa Sparks.” It has been a ton of fun to not only direct, but share the stage with such an amazing group of people. I cannot wait to share ‘Midlife!’ with Fort Dodge.”

“Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical” will hit the stage on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m., and on Jan. 27 with a showing at 2 p.m. and another at 7 p.m. The musical will be held at Hawkeye Community Theatre, 521 N. 12th St.

“Stage Door Productions is very pleased that Hawkeye Community Theatre has allowed us to perform our annual winter production on its stage. Our community theatre community does a wonderful job of collaborating and supporting one other. We are also excited that four of the six cast members of ‘Mid-Life!’ are performing in their first Stage Door small cast musical. Our youth and adult participation grow with each season and with each show,” said Susan Ahlers Leman, Stage Door Production board member

Tickets are $15 and are available at the door or ahead of time at First American Bank and Permanent Collections Art Gallery — Home of Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association.

“Mid-life! The Crisis Musical’s” music, lyrics and book was written by Bob Walton and Jim Walton.

Bottorff said, “‘Mid-Life’ is hilarious, yet shows honest reflections on the tribulations of aging, audiences are likely to experience multiple hot flashes of laughter.”

Since 2013, Stage Door Productions has specialized in adult small cast musicals — 12 cast members or less — and perform one youth production in the summer. It also hosts a variety of educational opportunities for youth and adults during the year. During 2017 it hosted Camp Creamery, which is a weeklong theatre camp with a performance built in at the end of the week, as well as bringing Broadway Dreams Foundation to Fort Dodge in October.

Stage Door Productions believes the arts provide important cognitive, emotional and social benefits to youth and it wants to increase availability and accessibility.

The three community theatre groups in Fort Dodge each fill their own niche, yet work together so well, Bottorff said.

Comedia Musica Players performs a large-scale musical each year at Decker Auditorium on the Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge campus. While Comedia shows occasionally include youth, its casts are primarily made up of adults and young adults.

Hawkeye Community Theatre produces six plays a year at its theatre. Hawkeye’s Christmas show is a youth production.

Stage Door Productions, which is currently beginning its sixth season, provides musical theatre training and experiences for youth from grades kindergarten through 12th grade, including a large-scale musical each summer, two cabarets each year incorporating both youth and adults, and an annual adult small-cast musical.

Stage Door’s upcoming production dates include two spring cabaret shows at the Ringland-Smeltzer House on April 12 and 13. The 2018 Camp Creamery June 25 to 30 and “Beauty & the Beast Jr.” on July 20 and 21 at the Fort Dodge Middle School Auditorium. Stage Door can be contacted through its Facebook page or website for more information. Or contact the company at