Gail Phaneuf Productions

A Midlife Musical Meltdown

Monsters! is a wacky comedy about a woman who unshackles her inner monsters on her 40th birthday with help from her Mother.


About the Play

MONSTERS! – A Midlife Musical Meltdown”, written by Gail Phaneuf (Book, Music, and Lyrics) and Ernie Lijoi (music/lyrics), is a mid-life story that captures the humor, agony and insight experienced at life’s milestones.

The show is set in Samantha’s Manhattan apartment where she lives alone.  Her mother pays a visit to celebrate her 40th birthday, during which Samantha reveals that she has plans to quit her Wall Street job and head for soul-searching adventure in Machu Picchu. Distressed at this potentially hasty move, her mother desperately tries to convince Samantha to reconsider, to do the practical thing. Samantha insists she’s firm in her resolve to strike a new path at 40, but the echo of her mother’s words stirs up a toxic blend of old insecurities embodied by monsters – familiar to us all – Apathy, Fear and Body.

These demons descend upon her, one by one, on this momentous birthday, in a bid to derail her new ambitions and to protect their own demon status. Samantha is dragged into a hilarious showdown of wills and determination, as this pack of zany demons tries to sink her spirits and drag her into their paranoid world.

When a birthday package arrives at her door, the monsters warn her it’s no gift, but part of a dangerous plot against her. The antics only skyrocket with the unexpected arrival of a young and sexy Birthday Singer, sent mysteriously to wish her birthday greetings. Samantha gains an unlikely ally in her battle with the demons. In the end, Samantha wins, with a revelation that shocks and delights her and the audience.

Charged with energetic music and side-splitting lyrics, MONSTERS asks: Have you faced your demons? We can’t necessarily destroy them, but we can laugh at them and put them in their place.

DURATION:  95 minutes with a 10 Minute intermission

Musical available for production with fully orchestrated recordings for performance.

Available now through Heuer Publishing and Brooklyn Publishers.

Cast of Characters


Samantha “Sam” (f) 40 year old woman.  A stock broker and wannabe Archeologist, with a fear of flying – among other phobias. (Vocal Range:  Mezzo with a belt)

Mother (f) youthful mid-60’s – Samantha’s mother.  A suburban mother with a sharp wit and a competitive, controlling quality, who lives vicariously through her only daughter.  (Vocal Range:  Mezzo Soprano)

Apathy (f) An amiable couch-potato Monster.  She is mischievous, childlike, and loves to procrastinate and play.  (Vocal Range:  Bright Soprano to a G)

Fear (f) A paranoid, fear-monger Monster who is afraid of her own shadow.  (Vocal Range:  Mezzo with a belt)

Body (m) A fabulously confident, and hysterically insecure Body Monster.  (Vocal Range:  Baritone to a G)

Birthday Girl (f) early 20’s – a birthday telegram singer who is extremely fit, funny and attractive.  (Vocal Range:  Strong belt Mezzo)

Full Song List

“Everybody’s Got Monsters”

“Half of a Life”

“Old Friends”
Apathy & Samantha

“What’s the Point?”
Apathy & Samantha

“Be Afraid”
Fear, Samantha, & Apathy  

“You Don’t Want to Know”
Fear, Samantha, & Apathy 

“All Downhill From Here”

“Dress Up”
Body, Samantha, Fear, & Apathy

“Don’t Open the Box”
Fear, Body, Apathy, Mother, & Samantha

“Happy Birthday Baby”
Birthday Girl

“The Next Part”
Samantha, Birthday Girl, Mother, & Company

“Everybody’s Got Monsters” (Reprise)
Samantha, Fear, Body, Apathy, & Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl, Samantha, Mother, & Company

“That’s What I Would Do”

“You Need Us!”
Body, Fear, Apathy, Samantha, & Birthday Girl

“Girl” (Finale)