The songs ranged from desperate ballads to quirky and satirical group numbers at “Twenty-Somethings: A Musical Revue,” but they all addressed the often tumultuous transitions between high school, college, and post-grad life. The performance, staged by the musical theater group Curtain Callers, took place in Kresge Auditorium last weekend.

Directors Adi White ’15, Erin Fitzpatrick ’15 and Max Middleton ’16 compiled musical theater songs about the so-called “best years of our lives,” highlighting the hilarious, terrifying and exciting experiences of being a 20-something. The revue featured numbers from musicals including “Tales From The Bad Years,” “Avenue Q” and “Little Women.”

“A lot of the songs we chose are from musicals that aren’t as commonly done or commonly known,” said Fitzpatrick. “So we wanted to bring some of that beautiful, meaningful, newer music to light.”

Both Fitzpatrick and White became involved in Curtain Callers as first years and took over leadership of the organization in the fall of 2012. The group, which was founded in 2010, typically stages a full-length musical in the fall and opts for a smaller-scale cabaret performance as its spring production. 

Inspiration for “Twenty-Somethings: A Musical Revue” came from the directors’ reflection on their position as graduating seniors.

“It was a really nice group of songs that address this particular time we’re at in our lives, where there’s a lot of weird transition happening, a lot of weird sexual experiences, the need for a job, the search for meaning,” said Fitzpatrick. “There are a lot of things that are going on that we wanted to address through [music].”

Cast members auditioned in early February and were all given a part in the show. Fitzpatrick and White had the theme in mind but did not select specific songs until after auditions in order to cater to the strengths and persona of each performer.

“We picked songs that fit their personalities or fit what they were thinking they liked or disliked about their college career so far,” said White. 

“We did a lot of work trying to match song energy to the person’s energy,” Fitzpatrick added. “The process was about animating Bowdoin students through song.”

Performers drew from their experiences as Bowdoin students—and as 20-somethings—to bring their songs to life.

“I think that’s the beauty of musical theater—it’s a really interesting way to animate a person’s inner thoughts that is more lively and more vulnerable than a monologue,” Fitzpatrick added.
The revue was comprised of individual songs, small group numbers and ensemble pieces. 

“[The show] mixed satirical with more serious material, and did that in a really cool way,” said audience member Sarah Nelson ’17. 

The performance occurred during Admitted Students Weekend, providing prospective students and their parents with the opportunity to both witness Bowdoin musical theater and relate to the show’s themes. 

“I hope that the songs and the personability of the people singing them stripped away the fear of this life transition for the prospies coming in,” said Fitzpatrick. 

“A lot of people at Bowdoin are very different, but I think everyone at Bowdoin and certainly parents and even [prospective students] can relate to something they shared,” said Emma Hamilton ’17, who attended the show. 

Fitzpatrick and White are leaving the leadership of Curtain Callers in the hands of Middleton, whom they are confident will lead the club in a positive direction. 

“Our group is founded on the premise of bringing more musical theater to campus and getting more people involved,” said White. “I hope that legacy of the group continues to flourish after we graduate.”