The Man*O*Pause Boys shouldn’t be as fun as it is. Some of the jokes seem unearthed from archeological digs in the Borscht Belt. The problems of the four male characters are cliché, predictable, and predominantly hover around their private parts, but fun it is.
The jokes make you laugh. The actors are winning. Cliches get to be such because they originate with truth and the hurdles these men in their 50’s face do ring true.
The songs — and though there are spoken segments, the songs make up most of the show — have catchy hooks. Damn catchy hooks. They are written, as is the show’s book, by Billy Van Zandt (Billy is also a wonderful onstage comic presence in The Manopause Boys) and Jane Milmore, music by Wayland Pickard. They keep the lyric writing simple and funny. Some of the damn catchy song hooks include, “My get up and go, got up and went,” “My God I am my father,” and “My prostate is the size of a Buick.” Billy and Jane know how to set up a punchline and the four actors, all of whom bring a different unique charm to the stage, know how to deliver one.
Equally appealing, a spirit of camaraderie is engendered with the audience. When the men were singing about the joys of older women (they don’t ascribe a specific age number), one of the actors pointed to the friend I was in attendance with — she was delighted at the recognition and the crowd was equally enthused.
The four male characters in The Man*O*Pause Boys may have enlarged prostates, erectile issues, weight gain, and fractured families, but they know how to have a good time. Even better they know how to share that good time. Their sheer joy and silly choreography by Michelle Mossay on “You’ll Never Be Younger (than today)” was absolutely winning. The men had their arms flailing akimbo like delirious little boys. When it came time for sentimentality (a.k.a. schmaltz), it was spread thinly and meaningfully.
Since no musical revue involving men in their 50’s and beyond would be complete without Viagra jokes, let it be known that The Man*O*Pause Boys gives the audience an epic parody sequence of show tunes with Viagra lyrics. With that in mind — RISE UP AND INSERT YOURSELF INTO A WARM… theater chair and enjoy the goofy, good-natured, youthful spirit of The Man*O*Pause Boys if it ever comes your way.
The Manopause Boys. Produced by Gary Shaffer and Noel Kubel, Music by Wayland Packard, Book and Lyrics by Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore, Musical Direction by Beth Moore, Choreography by Michelle Mossay. Cast: Jeff Bailey, Tom Frascatore, Glenn Jones, Billy Van Zandt. Stage Manager Jen Lucero. The Triad Theater, NYC. One night only, August 2.