BWW Previews: MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL - IT'S GETTING HOT at Straz Center For The Performing Arts
Hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain - oh my.
You can either cry or laugh about it, and Cindy Williams, internationally beloved TV, stage and screen icon is hoping you will choose the latter.
Returning to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on June 27, GFOUR Productions' Menopause the Musical brings Cindy to the stage as herself to help tell the tale every woman will eventually succumb to - "The Change."
"I'm the fifth character, an emcee with a twist," she said. "The musical takes a subject that is normally depressing and shines a light on it, making it fun, funny and upbeat."
The list is long, but if you can lament, laugh and sing about them with fellow sufferers, the symptoms of menopause become just a little more tolerable.
Set in a department store, four women - a soap star, a professional woman, an Iowa housewife, and an Earth Mother - meet at a lingerie sale while searching for that perfect black lace bra. After noticing undeniable menopause symptoms in each other, they form a sisterhood, regaling the audience with fun lampoons of classic pop songs of the 60s through 80s.
Song parodies include "Stayin Awake," "Hot Flash," "Puff, My God I'm Dragging," among many others familiar tunes.
"My favorite song is I'm Still Your Babe (I Got You Babe)," said Cindy. "It's so true. The lyrics are changed to popular songs and we have such a good time. There's such a camaraderie in theatre, in this show."
This ground-breaking celebration of women is 17 years strong and Cindy has been part of the conversation for 4 years. In addition to Cindy, the cast for the Tampa performances features Lisa Mack (Professional Woman), Patti Gardner (Soap Star), June Lang (Earth Mother), and Liz Hyde (Iowa Housewife).
Cindy said that it is not just the woman in the audience that love the show, but the husbands, as well. The show peers behind the curtain of a subject that used to be discussed in hushed tones and acknowledged by knowing, sympathetic looks. Using humor and spoofed songs, men get a better understanding of why their wives behave how they do.
"They end up thanking their wives," she said.
It isn't just locals who come see this show, but fans travel from all over the world to see Cindy in this hysterical production. One of the longest running scripted musicals in Las Vegas history, patrons have come from as far away as Scotland to see the magic that happens on stage.
"It's both elating and humbling," said Cindy.
She recommends anyone looking to get into show business, theatre, film or television, be dedicated to the craft and take serious theatre arts courses in college.
"Learn projection, stage turns and movement. Take voice and dance lessons. Learn the history of theatre. Work on the stage and behind it and practice the craft. Always keep practicing if you are serious about show business."
After the performance, Cindy and the cast offer a meet and greet with the audience in the lobby. Cindy is expected to sign her new book "Shirley I Jest," about her rise to fame as half of the comedic duo of Laverne & Shirley from blue collar roots.
She said that the show is for anyone who wants a little humor. "No matter who you are, this is laugh out loud funny."
Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.7827, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at www.strazcenter.org. Performance are in Ferguson Hall on Wednesday, June 27, 8 p.m., Thursday, June 28, 8 p.m., Friday, June 29, 8 p.m., Saturday, June 30, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 1, 2 p.m. For more information about the Straz Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, visit www.strazcenter.org.