The women move to different areas of the department store through the rest of the production and talk about the symptoms of both menopause and aging.
“It’s funny the title is ‘Menopause, The Musical’ because it’s more about just growing older,” actress Valerie Mackay said. “A lot of people enjoy it even if they’re not a woman or going through menopause.”
Mackay plays the Earth Mother, who is one of the four women in the internationally-performed musical, each depicting a different stereotype of woman.
“I love the Earth Mother because she’s most like me,” Mackay said. “She’s very spiritual and is always looking to be peaceful and happy.”
The second actress is called the Iowa Housewife, who is an innocent character who seldom leaves her hometown. She takes propriety very seriously and is concerned with being appropriate and dignified. This character is the one most of the audience can probably identify with, Mackay said.
“It’s her first time going to New York, but then she has a big opening-up and she kind of finds her wings,” she said.
The third character is called the Soap Star.
“Soap Star is our hot mess,” Mackay said. “She’s this beautiful woman who is a star on the soap operas, but now she’s being replaced by someone younger.”
Losing her beauty is the main concern of this character, until she has an important realization at the end of the play.
The final character is called the Power Woman, who has climbed to a high position in the business world. At every turn, this character tries to constantly be in charge, Mackay said.
However, the Power Woman is experiencing symptoms of memory loss, where she constantly forgets what she was planning to say, which is a weakness in the business world.
The four women are meant to represent different spectrums of women all around the world, and connect with the audience through the story and their parody renditions of 1960s, ’70s and ’80s hits.
Power Woman performs a gospel reprise about hot flashes, and there is one disco melody to the tune of “Stayin’ Alive,” but the lyrics are changed to “Stayin’ Awake.”
“It’s a funny script, but the magic happens in front of the audience,” Mackay said. “The audience becomes the other member of the cast. There are some moments that I’ve never heard an audience so loud.”
Mackay said her favorite part of the show was being on stage and connecting with the audience.
After one performance, Mackay said, a 23-year-old woman came up crying to the cast members. She told them that she had a hysterectomy, which is surgery that removes a woman’s uterus, and this had caused early menopause.
She thanked them for their great performance and said that she had been going through everything they had shown on stage and it made her feel more comfortable with what was happening to her.
“The audience can always recognize themselves in it or someone they know,” Mackay said. “A lot of men even say they think they’re going through menopause, too.”
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