By Courtesy photoMarch 11, 2010
FORT BENNING, Ga. - Four women meet in a department store while fighting over a bra: the "Iowa housewife," the "earth mother," the "professional woman" and the "soap star." So begins the story of Menopause The Musical, an hour and a half of song, dance and humor, coming to the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts March 20 and 21.
It's hilarious, said Diana Pratt, national director for public relations, whose first encounter with the show was as an audience member three years ago.
"Literally my cheeks were hurting because I was laughing so much. I'm not to that age yet, but I could see everything my mother was going through," she said. "Even if you're by yourself ... honestly, you start making friends with the girls next to you. It's almost like a little sisterhood is formed inside each theater. Once you get in there you just laugh the entire time."
The subject of the story is really about embracing all of life's stages, Pratt said.
"Don't let the name of the musical keep you away," she said. "Years ago ... people didn't just say the word 'menopause' out loud. It used to be a hush-hush term. Now, the musical is bringing it to the forefront. It's just another phase of life."
It's the second consecutive year Menopause the Musical has played in Columbus, this time with several new cast members. Among them is Sandy Rosenberg, who plays the "earth mother."
"It's a whole lot of fun to do and the audiences love it so much," said Rosenberg, who has been on tour since January. "You're not alone is something that you learn. And the guys get to appreciate that they're not alone in what they're experiencing with the women in their lives. It's kind of a communal 'aahhhh,' knowing that it's all OK in the end."
The show includes parodies of musical hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s and covers a range of topics, from hot flashes, trouble sleeping and weight gain to mood swings, difficulty remembering and mixed feelings toward younger people.
The subjects and situations described aren't completely foreign to Rosenberg, a card-carrying member of the AARP.
"I'm not reaching. I certainly understand a lot of things that are discussed ... and so does my husband," she said. "You gotta laugh. If you can laugh at a situation nothing can really get you down. And that's a focus of the show. Bringing 90 minutes of laughter to people - what a wonderful way to make a living."
So whether it's a girls night out, a special date or just a chance to learn a little bit more about "the change," expect to have a good time, Rosenberg said. "We'll put a smile on your face."
What you need to know:
Showtimes: 8 p.m. March 20
2 p.m. March 21
Location: RiverCenter for the Performing Arts
900 Broadway Ave.,
Discounts for groups of 10 or more at 888-686-8587, ext. 11
Extra: Stay after the show for "Shake Your Can." Audience members will have a chance to meet and greet people from the cast and crew. And they can contribute to There's No Place Like Home National, a program started by Jeanie Linders, the musical's writer and producer, in May 2008. To date, the program has helped build eight houses for women in New Orleans who lost their homes during hurricanes. Individuals can also give to the fund by purchasing hot flash fans before the show. For more information, visit www.theresnoplacelikehomenational.org."