'Menopause the Musical' on stage Jan. 29 at Toyota Center

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 16, 2014 

Menopause the Musical comes to Kennewick on Jan. 29 in the Windermere Theatre at the Toyota Center.

COURTESY JAM THEATRICALS

Menopause the Musical is a comedy that chronicles the experiences of four women suffering through various stages of menopause.

And don't think for one minute that this show is just for aging dames suffering forgetfulness and hot flashes.

"The reaction of men to this show is amazing," director Seth Greenleaf told the Herald in a recent phone interview. "In the 10 years since I've been involved with Menopause, I've seen so many guys come into the theater frowning and leave laughing."

That's because Menopause the Musical, which is Jan. 29 in the Windermere Theatre at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, is as educational as it is hilariously entertaining, he said.

"The show demystifies menopause, giving men a deeper understanding of what women go through," Greenleaf said. "And it does that in a very funny and entertaining way."

Menopause the Musical starts off in a department store, where four women with apparently nothing in common start haggling over a black lace bra that's on sale.

After a bit of defensive posturing over the sale item, the women discover they have quite a bit in common despite the fact that they all come from very different backgrounds.

The newly formed sisterhood leads to sharing woeful stories about hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, not enough sex, too much sex, night sweats and chocolate binges.

Sandra Benton plays a successful Fortune 500 executive suffering from memory loss. Ingrid Cole is the Earth mother who lives in a commune where she is known for her sweet nature, until middle-age insomnia turns her more cranky than sweet. Annette Houlihan Verdolino is an Iowa housewife whose children are grown and who is struggling to find a new mission to embark on. Cherie Price is an aging soap opera star battling vanity while suffering hot flashes and emotional turmoil.

"This is a fabulous group of women playing these parts," Greenleaf said. "They all have powerful voices and they mix and match their characters so well it gives a wonderful balance to the show."

The music includes classic tunes from the 1960s, '70s and '80s, which Greenleaf guarantees will have many dancing in the aisles.

"The best part about my involvement with Menopause is watching the audience react to the fun of this musical," he said. "When you watch this show, you'll see what millions of women worldwide have been laughing about for 10 years."

The show has been the longest-running musical in Las Vegas for the past seven years, Greenleaf said. It's currently showing at The Luxor on the Vegas strip.

Menopause the Musical was written by Jeanie C. Linders, who also produces the stage show.

"Most women know intuitively that every other woman is experiencing hot flashes or night sweats," Linders said on her website. "There is always a close friend or two who can sympathize or identify, but when they are sitting in a theater with hundreds of other women, all laughing and shouting 'That's me! That's me on stage!' They know what they are experiencing is normal. They aren't alone or crazy. It becomes a sisterhood."

The show's choreography director is Mayme Paul. CT Hollis is music director.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost from $27 to $59.50 plus service charges at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets purchased at the Toyota Center box office avoid service charges.

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