Center Stage: ‘Menopause the Musical’ offers 90 minutes of laughter
GFour Productions has brought their international smash-hit “Menopause the Musical” to the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre to tickle the funny bones and delight the local audiences till July 2. The GFour Production company owns “Menopause the Musical.” This particular production company has garnered many awards (the Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier); and they also just won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for their most recent Broadway launch, “Disgraced.” Having said all that, their recent Palm production “Menopause the Musical” will give us gals a chance to cut loose, and have a blast as you will howl with laughter (no kidding) from start to finish, jump up for a standing ovation and dash up on the stage when during curtain calls audience members are invited up to dance with the cast and celebrate being alive as well as being OK with “changing.” I know I jumped up along with half the women in the audience.
You have to hand it to Playwright/ Creator Jeanie Linders, she really knows how to connect to her audience (yup, even the guys giggle and enjoy this one.) How does she do that? Well to begin with she uses simple lyrics that are married to popular songs from the ’60s to the 80’s. I’ll have to admit the lyrics aren’t exactly Sondheim, but boy oh boy are they right on, and funny.
Furthermore, Linders uses a shell of a simple plot to illustrate how going through the change unites all women. She begins this saga of change with four diverse characters:
Power Woman: Whitney Hayes
Soap Star: Sarah Hayes
Earth Mother: Megan Opalinski
Iowa Housewife: Donnalynn Waller
Three of our talented women are Broadway Palm alumni – Hayes, Opalinski, Waller; and all four of these principals are Broadway, NYC material.
Getting back to the plot; Bloomie’s (Bloomingdales NYC) is where these ladies meet while fighting over a bra sale in the lingerie department and discover they have a lot in common as they bond over a day of shopping Bloomie’s; from jewelry to lingerie, cosmetics, to lady’s room, beauty salon to food court, they bond over hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia and other menopausal madness’s, all to the tunes of baby-boomer melodies.
“California Girls” becomes wish we all could be sane and normal girls; “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” morphs into – In the guest room or on the sofa, my husband sleeps tonight; “Chain of Fools” is “Change of Life; “Stayin’ Alive” Stayin awake, “My Guy” mutates in moanin’ about My Thighs, another jab It’s on my thighs; AKA “It’s In His Kiss.” And my personal favorite- “Help Me Rhonda” becomes the cast’s anthem Thank you doctor! A tribute for their mood- enhancing meds, so instead of “Rhonda you caught my eye and I could give you lots of reasons why . . . converts to my doctor prescribed a pill that eliminated my urge to kill. Now I ask you, isn’t that a blast from the past?
This fun fest features four great performers each getting equal time to shine. And while they are all terrific singers each excels in their comic bits. Hayes (Professional Woman) has not only a big belt voice that fills the entire Broadway Palm auditorium, my favorite was her Tina Turner take, that even out Tina-d Tina. Waller (Iowa Housewife) had me as well as the rest of the audience in stitches as she tried to squeeze into a teeny tiny teddy lingerie. (60’s Earth Mother) Opalinski got “into the zone” or at least tried to as she “OM”-ed her way with meditation, into a better place from her edgy mood swings. While Hayes as the Soap Star has the looks and the all the moves and certainly shone at her sultry sexy best with one “Hot Flash” moment with an unsuspecting male audience member. Betcha he left a happy camper!
So with that being said everyone and anyone (with the possible exceptions of rug rats and teens) can and will have a raucous great time whether you’ve gone through menopause or not. And guys don’t be scared just sit back, enjoy and giggle with that lady sitting next to you.
Start the ball rolling by picking up the nearest phone and call the Broadway Palm Box Office at (239) 278-4422 and make reservations for 90 minutes (without intermission) of fun and games at “Menopause the Musical!” Remember when you phone tell ’em Marsha sent you!