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A CurtainUp Review
Menopause - the Musical
By Elizabeth Ahlfors
Like Real Life Housewives all over the country, the Ladies of Long Island are hitting the town-the town of Port Washington. Just as the peri-menopausals are partying at Girls Night-The Musical, their mamas have not forgotten about, Menopause-The Musical, currently at the Landmark on Main Street. This little show keeps coming back like its songs. It's nine-years older, and women are somewhat wiser, but mood swings or not, the estrogen-depleted audiences are primed to laugh along with four nameless ladies of a certain age "celebrating the change" at Bloomingdale's.
The show is about WOMEN . . .not about theater. — Writer/producer Jeanie Linders .
The evening centers around a Professional Woman (Stace Greenwell), a past-her-prime Soap Star (Shorey Walker), a mystical Earth Mother (Dee Etta Rowe), and earnest Iowa Housewife (Lydia Gladstone). A squabble over lingerie leads into a 90-minute revue where they express their inner golden age with clever parodies written by Jeanie Linders to pop songs mainly from the '60a and '70s.
The characters are types rather than personalities. Without a real story and just snatches of conversation between 24 songs, we learn a little about the women. Not that anyone cares, because the driving force is the spoof, and while the lyrics are not Sondheim's, they are straightforward and usually strike the audience's funny bone.
Each character get a moment to strut her stuff as the show the show skims through the pesky weight problems, crow's feet, memory and on and on. Greenwall reimagines, "I'm Sorry" as "I'm Flashin'." Gladstone's Housewife creates some comic moments — one an imaginative percussion section with kitchen utensils, another an attempt to squeeze into a tiny lace undie. Soap star Walker slinks into the audience singing, "I'm having a hot flash" to "Heat Wave" and finds one of the three men in the audience to vamp with. Complaints include that it's a "Sign of the Times" when "your hourglass figure is like a glass of water." and "Stayin' Alive" is really about "Stayin' Awake".
The Earth Mother's's "Good Vibrations" suggests an electrifying trio of tunes. Greenwall, the strongest vocalist, belts out "What's Love Got to Do with It?" since battery toys are available. Picking up the theme, Gladstone croons "Only You" into a suggestive pink microphone, adding, "When you're in my hand, I am my destiny.".
Choreography is basic but perky and the singers are dressed according to type by Sue Hill. The Soap Star is understandably a bit more stylish than the others. Suits are appropriate-black, for the professional and pastel for the housewife. Earth Mother gets a print dashiki. In a splashy ending, all the women slip into sequined black glamour for their "New Attitude", one of the few '80s tunes. The audience is urged on stage to kick up their heels.
As in Girls Night-The Musical (my review) an emcee gets the crowd moving before the show, mostly toward the gift counter at one side of the theater. For a nominal donation you get a cardboard fan, which comes in handy because hot flashes aside, the Landmark Theater can be under air-conditioned. Also, like Girls Night-The Musical or a bridal shower, these events are best for a few gal pals out on the town. Leave husbands home. Look, Menopause-The Musical does not aim for much more than a few hours of laughs, so grab some girlfriends, plan a night out and you'll have fun.
Menopaulse the Musical
Book by Jeanie Linders |
Original Director, Kathryn Conte
Cast: Stacie Greenwell, Shorey Walker, Dee Etta Rowe, Lydia Gladstone
Original Choreographer: Patty Bender
Costume Designer: Sue Hill
Sound Designer: Stephen Patterson
Running Time: 90 minutes, no intermission
Theater: Jeanne Rimsky Theater, Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main Street, Port Washington, NY 11050
Tickets: $47.50. (516)717-3990 or on-line at www.menopauselongisland.com
Tues.-Fri. at 8:00pm, Sat. at 7pm. Wed., Sat., Sun matinees at 2:00pm
Opened: July 8, 2010. Closing Aug. 29.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Ahlfors based on performance 7/9/10
"Change, Change, Change"-Professional Woman, Earth Mother & Girls
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"-Professional Woman & Soap Star
"Sign of the Times"-Earth Mother & Iowa Housewife
"Stayin' Awake/Night Sweatin'"-Ensemble
" My Husband Sleeps Tonight"-Earth Mother & Girls
"Hot Flash"- Soap Star
" Drippin' and Droppin'"-Earth Mother
"I'm Flashing"- Professional Woman
"The Great Pretender"- Professional Woman, Iowa Housewife & Girls
"Sane and Normal Girls/Thank You Doctor"-Ensemble
" Lookin' for Food"- Soap Star, Iowa Housewife & Girls
" Please Make Me Over"- Soap Star
"Beauty's Only Skin Deep"-Ensemble
"I'm Flashing" (reprise)- Professional Woman
"Puff, My God, I'm Draggin'"-Earth Mother
"The Fat Gram Song" - Professional Woman & Girls
" My Thighs"- Iowa Housewife & Girls
" Don't Say Nothing Bad About My Body"- Soap Star & Girls
"I'm No Babe, Ma"-Ensemble
"Good Vibrations"-Earth Mother & Soap Star
"What's Love Got To Do With It?"- Professional Woman & Girls
"Only You"-Iowa Housewife & Girls
"New Attitude"- Ensemble
"This is Your Day"- Ensemble
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