Presented by Spectacle Management
By Jeanie Linders
Review by Travis Manni
(Lexington, MA) I wanted to review Menopause the Musical because I’ve never seen it, I wanted to laugh, and I am unfazed by excessive jokes about saggy breasts. And while I didn’t mind being literally the only twenty something male in the entire audience, the smell of red wine on the breath of many baby boomers around me was sign enough that I was not even a little bit in the demographic for Menopause’s target audience.
The show was supposedly created “because laughter is the best medicine,” and I will absolutely give credit where it’s due because I was laughing at least half the time.
We meet four characters, a Professional Woman, Soap Star, Iowa Housewife, and Earth Mother, while they are at a lingerie sale. It’s made apparent quite quickly that all four of these women are going through “the change”. Hilarity ensues as they learn that, despite their miniscule differences, they are living the same exact lives through their changing. Throw in a couple dozen songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s that have been rewritten to describe the struggle women go through during menopause, and you’ve got yourself a musical.
The overarching theme of celebrating menopause through humor instead of hiding or being ashamed of it like our patriarchal society would prefer is applause worthy. Other notable aspects of the show include Linda Boston’s performance as Professional Woman, whose soulful vocals give the show the refreshing flare that would’ve otherwise left it quite bland. She is able to work the crowd with a zesty charisma that kept me engaged during the songs that I didn’t recognize. Megan Cavanagh as Earth Mother is also endearing and manages to exude charming hippie vibes in all the right places to spice up the dynamic between the characters.
My biggest gripes with the show were the songs, which have zero face value if taken out of context. I couldn’t picture myself, or any of my friends, wanting to sing-along to any of the show tunes because they simply aren’t catchy. This show lacked a plot. Sometimes there were no dialogue segues because there was no way for the playwright to justify the transition between songs. Menopause has no emotional depth. Nor does it convince the audience that these four women have learned to accept and love the changes they’re going through. It is pure parody with nothing substantial to keep it grounded. The chuckles weren’t exactly stable.
While I can’t give the show itself a glowing review, I still recommend you see it for several reasons. One being the cause this tour is supporting; for every ticket sold, $2 is donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Not only that, three of the four actresses in this show are breast cancer survivors. And last, this is an entertaining show that celebrates women and is worthy of a girl’s night out. But don’t be surprised if you forget the lyrics to the songs in a day or two.
Menopause the Musical runs for 90 minutes with no intermission and will be touring in the U.S. and Canada. For touring information and tickets, click here.