Wednesday, 23 April 2014

'Menopause' at Clemens Center next week

Imagine four women going through menopause meeting up in a lingerie store and bonding over buying a bra while they sing and dance about hot flashes, sleepless nights and cranky moods.

That‘s the basic plot of “Menopause: The Musical,” which comes to the Clemens Center in Elmira for a two-night run starting Wednesday.

“Throughout the course of the show, these four ladies bond over their menopausal symptoms and spend the day shopping together and commiserating about what they’re going through,” said Rebecca Fisher, one of the show’s stars.

A comedy as well as a musical, the 90-minute show strives to entertain, inform and inspire the audience, Fisher added: “It’s more like a musical celebration.”

Jeanie Linders, who wrote and produced the off-Broadway show, wanted to celebrate and poke fun at an issue every woman experiences but few like to talk about, Fisher said.

“She just touched on something so relatable with a very healthy theater-going demographic,” Fisher said. “Middle-aged and older ladies like to see shows.”

“Menopause: The Musical” began back in 2001 in a tiny former perfume shop in Orlando, Fla., where less than 100 people could watch the show at any time.

“It originally didn’t get good reviews, but the audience had other ideas,” Fisher said of the show. “It just has evolved into an extremely popular show.”

From those humble beginnings, the show has become a worldwide phenomenon, with performances in 15 countries, 300 international cities and 450 U.S. cities. The show is still going strong after 13 years, said Fisher, who’s been with the show on and off since 2005.

“When you’re on stage and there’s a couple thousand people in the audience and they’re all having a great time, you absorb that,” she said. “It feels so good to make people happy. That’s why I don’t tire of the show.”

One reason why the show is so popular is the characters that Linders created, Fisher said. She plays Soap Star, an aging soap opera actress who worries about losing her looks and job.

“She’s glamorous. She’s fun-loving but high maintenance,” Fisher said of her character. “She’s having an insecurity crisis because she’s aging. She’s about ready to have a meltdown at the top of the show.”


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