By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
On the surface one would think a subject about a woman’s exasperating physical experience would not be a source for entertainment. But a popular stage production provides a unique take about the topic.
“Menopause the Musical,” with its current engagement at Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT), highlights all these women’s experiences in an absolutely comical way, in song, dance and dialog. The national tour from GFour Productions, winner of 44 Tony Awards and 54 Drama Desk Awards, is on a limited run at WBT through Sunday, Mar. 24.
Perfect for a ladies’ night out, I invited a friend to join me instead of my spouse. However, there were plenty of men there enjoying the humor in it all, too. Not knowing what to expect the 90-minute play to be about, we were thoroughly entertained from the start to its fantastic conclusion. Of all the wonderful shows at WBT, this one had the most audience laughter on a non-stop basis – from both genders in attendance.
“Menopause the Musical” is a groundbreaking celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of or have survived “the change.” Now celebrating 17 years of female empowerment through hilarious musical comedy, the play has evolved as a grassroots movement of women who deal with life adjustments after 40 by embracing each other and the road ahead.
Set in an upscale department store, four women meet while shopping for lingerie on sale. After noticing unmistakable similarities among one another, the cast jokes about their woeful hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles and weight gain. They form a sisterhood and unique bond with the entire audience as they rejoice in celebrating that menopause is no longer “The Silent Passage.”
The four women depicted are from various backgrounds – a business executive, a soap opera star soon to be replaced by a younger actress, a Midwestern housewife in New York City with her husband who is attending a convention and an aging, mellow flower child. Cast members Megan Cavanagh (Earth Mother), Donna J. Huntley (Professional Woman), Debby Rosenthal (Soap Star) and Roberta B. Wall (Iowa housewife) were spot on in their character portrayals.
WBT casting is routinely superb and each role was flawlessly executed by the actors on stage. A shout-out to the powerful vocals of Huntley, the comedic timing and expressions of Cavanagh, the sassy portrayal by Rosenthal and the enthusiastic motions and physical comedy of Wall. As an ensemble they were extraordinary in singing, choreography and chemistry.
Stage design is also creative with the backdrop of “Bloomies” department store. Each floor the women visited provided a chance for costume and set changes and songs and dance numbers to perform. Speaking of songs, the music is upbeat and hysterically funny as favorites from the 1950s through the ‘70s were sung with the same melody, only the words were changed to reflect the women’s life experiences.
With more than 20 classic hits, including “Stayin Alive,” “I’m Sorry, The Great Pretender,” “My Guy,” “I Got You Babe,” “Only You” and many more, it was impossible not to tap your feet along with each number.
Don’t miss this production if you like to laugh, enjoy great music and watch four fabulously talented actors on stage turn an often-whispered subject into a great night of entertainment. Enjoy a delicious dinner or lunch at either an evening production or afternoon matinee.
Tickets are on sale now and available at the Westchester Broadway Theatre box office, by visiting www.broadwaytheatre.com or by calling 914-592-2222. Discounts for groups of 15 or more are available by calling 914-592-2225.