Human Race Theatre Company Announces New Season Including My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend in 2021

March 02, 2020

The 34th season kicks off early this year, in August, with the mysterious comic-drama, Now And Then by Sean Grennan.  Then in October, they’ll rock the Loft Theatre with Airness, a new play by Chelsea Marcantel that follows whacky participants in the Air Guitar World Championship.  The winter brings us the thoughtful and timely drama of a family dealing with a transgender child, Everything That’s Beautiful by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder.  Spring blooms with laughter as the O’Shea family must confront the Incident At Our Lady Of Perpetual Help by Katie Forgette.  And closing the season June 10 – 27 is a new musical, co-written by a WSU grad and Human Race alum, Christian Duhamel, and composer Edward Bell – the title says it all – My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend.

My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend will play Arizona Theatre Company this fall

February 06, 2020

Arizona Theatre Company has announced their 2020/2021 season and My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend is honored to be the opener! The production will run September 5-October 18 ATC's theaters in Phoenix and Tucson. 

IRNE Award for Best Solo Performance

April 23, 2018

Charissa Bertels received the IRNE award for Best Solo Performance for her performance in My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend at the organization's awards ceremony in Boston on April 23. Congratulations to Charissa and the other winners from Merrimack Repertory Theatre!

Christian Duhamel Wins the 2018 Kleban Award for Most Promising Musical Theatre Librettist

January 08, 2018

Christian Duhamel received the prestigious 2018 Kleban Award for Most Promising Musical Theatre Librettist for his work on My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend. Charissa was honored to perform a piece from the show at the awards ceremony held on February 5. Congratulations, Christian!

EVERETT INDEPENDENT: Bertels beams in her one-woman show, ‘My 80-year-old Boyfriend’

May 10, 2017

"She makes us smile, laugh and exult with her, sharing the power of love and caring in our lives."

"Bertels can belt out big tunes, her lovely voice booming to the rafters."

LOWELL SUN: MRT's latest offering amusing, perceptive

May 10, 2017

"Bertels is a gifted singer...The number she performs when she first sees Milton's apartment, "What A View," is the standout track. Milton is showing Charissa a side of New York City she has never seen. It's a thrilling moment, for her and the audience.”

BWW Review: MY 80-YEAR-OLD BOYFRIEND World Premiere at Merrimack Rep

May 06, 2017

"As herself and as Milton, Bertels is a delightful, engaging performer. When "they" sing and dance together ("Together With You"), it is practically worth the price of admission."

"The longing and regret expressed in the poignant "The Love Left Behind" will resonate with anyone who has loved and lost."

"In a nutshell, it is a very enjoyable ninety minutes of theater that doesn't make you think as much as it makes you feel, and it feels good."

May 05, 2017

"This is a master class in how to put on a show worth seeing. There is surely no one who wouldn’t enjoy this absolutely lovely story of a beautiful friendship, presented with humor, love and Broadway-level entertainment."

May 04, 2017

"Universally compelling."

"Bertels is a terrific lead."

"'My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend' is a joyous delight, performed with skill and passion: an irresistible reminder that time flies."

May 02, 2017

"Within seconds of singing her final note in “What Counts” the audience leapt to their feet with robust applause and cheers giving Bertels a long-lasting standing ovation that was entirely well deserved. This touching and humorous musical is bound to not only tug at your heartstrings, but make you laugh and send you out of the theatre smiling. This new musical is a must see this May and Charissa Bertels’ performance is not to be missed!" 

New Musical, My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, Closes MRT's Season

April 10, 2017

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will wrap up its 2016-17 Season with the delightful new musical "My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend," based on the true story of performer Charissa Bertels. The show chronicles the unlikely friendship between twenty-something actress Charissa and eighty-something millionaire Milton, featuring a book and lyrics by Christian Duhamel, and music and lyrics by Edward Bell.

MRT Cohorts

April 04, 2017

Members of the Cohort Club have the unique opportunity to become a part of the creation of professional theater at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell. They are a part of the team through observations of the rehearsal and production process, and conversations with the artistic team. They follow three shows from start (first rehearsal) to finish (Opening Night) and create reports based on their observations. 

Joy of Intergenerational Friendship in new MRT musical

April 19, 2017

What happens when you reach out to someone who is different from yourself and how does it impact your life?

That’s what 20-something actress Charissa Bertels discovers in the delightful new musical My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, a show based on her real-life friendship with 80-something millionaire Milton.

Conceived by Bertels, with book and lyrics by Christian Duhamel and music and lyrics by Edward Bell, it wraps up Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s season with performances April 26-May 21.

The show isn’t a love story. Instead, it’s the story of an unlikely friendship between two people, 60 years apart in age, who reach out to each other and discover joy through a close, personal connection.

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