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BWW Review: MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL at Orpheum Theater

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Running through November 7th

BWW Review: MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL at Orpheum Theater

Theatergoers may need to mentally prepare for the experience of Menopause The Musical at
the Orpheum Theater because it was a party from the moment we sat in our seats until we leapt
to our feet for a standing ovation.

The pre-show music seemed to inadvertently transport the audience back in time with pulsing rhythms and upbeat tempos of familiar disco hits; but after scanning the house, it seemed none of the "hot guys" of 1978 were there to dance with. I didn't see many gentlemen in the audience but there were a couple of them in the front row attending with wives and those brave souls were amply rewarded during the show. The cloud of a dozen feminine fragrances surrounding me was proof that this audience was giving off some powerful party vibes. At this point, I still didn't know how I felt about it all, because I remember menopause as an annoying rite of passage; but apparently, it is also a hoot.

The recorded musical accompaniment that spanned several decades and music styles, had a perfect blend of volume for the vocalists who were adeptly wired for sound. I thought it was a little over the top, that the intensity of the audience was already at a peak of excitement but then it appeared that this was exactly the spark that detonated this little show into a firestorm of raucous laughter and energy. Lyrics changed by the writers to fit the melodies and rhythms of familiar songs were at times wildly hilarious, but sometimes just not very understandable because of the speed of delivery necessary.

The variety and vocal power of Anise Ritchie, the fluid sexuality and dancing prowess of Kim Vanbiesbrouck, the timid then emboldened characterization of an Iowa housewife by Teri Adams, and the goofy facial expressions and characterization of earth mother by Megan Cavanagh were completely on point and polished to a mirror-like sheen. There were many times in the show when audience members had opportunities to identify with each character's universal experience with menopause. For me, there were moments of reminiscing and tearful longing for youth. As a former performer myself, I thought of how gratifying it must be for the cast to see all the smiles and hear the laughter of the audience every night.

The hype is real. The show is fantastic, and the flavors and texture that this cast brings to the
dish made this show a tried and true recipe for a delicious night at the theater.


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