From Sept. 19 to Sept. 24 at Greensboro Coliseum Complex and in association with the GFour Production company, comes the longest-running scripted production in Las Vegas history: “Menopause the Musical: the Hilarious Celebration of Women and The Change.” Running for about an hour and a half, the musical’s audience, comprised overwhelmingly of women aged 35 to 70, clapped along to songs that were popular for the baby-boomer generation throughout the musical.
The audience members were fun-loving and all cackled throughout the night together, as the four main actresses in “Menopause the Musical,” sang parodied songs about the hardships that are present when a woman faces menopause. Twice during the musical, a couple of the actresses came off stage and interacted with the audience. During these times, the Business Woman and Soap Star leads were singing about a hot flash they were having. The level of audience engagement brought an element of fun to the production.
There was an opportunity at the end of the musical for audience participation. The women who have experienced “the change” were invited on stage to do a kick line. Women from ages 45 to perhaps 70 joined the cast on stage as they danced together in celebration of womanhood, sisterhood and ultimately humanity.
There is not a lot of public conversation about the process of menopause or any of the biological changes women experience. If these conversations are had at all, they are had behind closed doors, and certainly not on a stage. “Menopause the Musical” encourages a sisterhood between women in light of shared experiences, especially biological ones.
“Menopause the Musical” takes place in a Bloomingdale’s in New York City with four ladies that are experiencing “the change.” A Professional Woman, Soap Star, Earth Mother and Iowan House Wife all meet each other while fighting over lingerie.
The women are from four different places with four very different backgrounds, and despite their differences they are all sharing the same experience. The comedic relief of the parodied songs present the audience with memorable lines such as, “I’m a lot more pushy when I’m not crying” or “we wish we could all be sane and normal.”
The characters let each other know that they aren’t alone in the journey, which is one of the key messages of the musical. From the initial meeting of the cast in Bloomingdale’s, the four women talk, sing and dance their way through the store as they describe their individual experiences with menopause.
The musical parodies several songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s; the song “Stayin’ Alive” became “Stayin’ Awake,” as the four main characters sing about their insomnia and frustration with trying to fall asleep. In addition to the unique stylings of “Stayin’ Awake,” Earth Mother sings an alternate version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
This song touches on the restlessness Earth Mother is experiencing as she explains to her newfound friends that “in the guest room or on the sofa, her husband sleeps at night…”
The scene then transitioned to lunch time, as the four women break from shopping to eat in Bloomingdale’s. Earth Mother realizes she has forgotten her glasses, and she has the other women hold her menu at absurd distances in order to be able to read the menu, intending to illustrate the difficulties of changing eyesight in addition to the other struggles of menopause.
Soap Star then tells the other women about her “personal summer” on more than one occasion. She has to stop a couple of times during the shopping to gather herself in the midst of a hot flash. In one of the funniest scenes of the musical, the Iowan House Wife is trying to fit into a bodysuit lingerie. She pulls, tugs and stretches the piece with all her might and eventually gets popped by different straps on the bodysuit.
The cast portrayed real and relatable women which brought a strong element of authenticity to the musical. While each character was fantastic in their own individual ways, when it came down to it, they were all struggling to keep cool and avoid hot flashes. “Menopause the Musical” is unlike any other theatrical performance. No matter what form menopause takes or what side effects a woman’s menopause experience brings, she will not be alone in her journey. Despite the frustrations of insomnia, hot flashes or forgetfulness, women are in this together.