Never have I been in a room with so many 50 and over women who were having that much fun! With all the hooting and hollering that was going on during "Menopause: The Musical" (written by Jeanie Linders) you could have mistaken it for a Jonas Brother concert. The crowd (overwhelmingly female of a certain age, but there was also a dozen or so men in the audience) really enjoyed themselves and you could tell that they really appreciated that the musical not only understood but celebrated what they were going through or went through during the "change".
The premise of the show is simple. Four women of the 50 and above age category and of all different walks of life are brought together during a lingerie sale at Bloomingdales. The aging soap opera star (Cherie Price) who is fearful that her days are numbered, the earth mother/hippie (Pammie O'Bannon – an original cast member from 2001), the successful African American businesswoman (Cynthia Jones), and the housewife from Iowa (Carolynne Warren) begin their relationships by fighting over one black bra, but then quickly realize that they have something in common – they are all going through menopause at the same time.
Mood swings, hot flashes, forgetfulness, and many of the other charming side effects of going through the change of life are discussed. Well, discussed is not exactly correct as the above mentioned topics become part of cleverly done musical parodies using songs from the 60s right up to the 80s. Twenty-five well known songs like The Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive" becomes "Stayin' Awake", The Tokens "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" becomes "My Husband Sleeps Tonight" and Mary Wells' "My Guy" becomes "My Thighs". All the changed lyrics are quite clever.
The choreography is nothing too complex, but it is perfectly suited for the show. Its subtlety allows the comedic acting and singing of the four actresses to take centre stage.
Every scene is funny, but my two favourites were when the Iowa housewife was alone on stage and trying on a skimpy black teddy and then when the black businesswoman came out in full Tina Turner costume for "What's Love Got To Do With It". My stomach got a workout!
With all the fun you are having at the show it will almost begin to seem like menopause is an enjoyable part of life. What begins as a time of discomfort for the women sees them change by the end of the show into proud and triumphant middle-aged women. A positive slant is put on the whole previously not spoken of time of life. The show goes a long way towards showing women that it is not a time to be depressed, but rather celebrate moving on to a new phase in life.
The show is a quickly paced 90 minutes long with no intermission. Not a moment of the show drags. There is plenty of energy and laughs during every scene.