From hot flashes and wrinkles to memory loss and mood swings, a musical opening next week in central Iowa allows women to poke fun of their own predicaments in "Menopause, the Musical."
The story follows four women who meet by fighting over a lacy bra in a department store and form a lasting friendship based on their similar physical situations. Actress Sherri Brown-Webster plays the role of "Professional Woman" and says you don’t have to be experiencing menopause to enjoy the show.
"This is a hilarious show about women as we go through the change of life," she says. "It’s actually a celebration of the change of life and you can choose to embrace the change, or you can choose to run away from it, hide it, be angry at it, but we choose to celebrate it through song and dance and music."
An Indiana native, this will be Brown-Webster’s first visit to Iowa. Brown-Wester says she’s an expert on the musical’s focal point. "I don’t look like it, but I am smack in the middle of menopause and I am a step-mother of four and a step-grandmother of three," Brown-Webster says. "I know exactly what it is I’m singing about. The role that I play, the Professional Woman, I can truly relate to her."
The 90-minute, one-act musical first debuted in 2001 and has since been seen by a combined audience of ten million in a dozen countries. While the show is all about women and their bodies, she says it’s also a must-see for men as educational entertainment. "The men always start out with their hands folded and then as the show progresses along, their hands slowly unfold, then they’re nudging their wife and they’re laughing, they’re doubled over, they’re pointing," Brown-Webster says. "They can truly relate because, even as my husband says, while I’m going through menopause, he’s going through it, too.’"
The soundtrack contains 25 parodies of classic baby boomer songs which she says were carefully crafted by Jeanie Linders, the show’s writer. "She took songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s, pop songs, familiar songs, you will recognize all of them, and changed the words to go with what it is we’re dealing with," she says. "One of my favorites is, when the Earth Mother sings: ‘In the guest room or on the sofa, my husband sleeps at night,’ and of course that’s to ‘The Lion Sleeps At Night.’"
The show is at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, June 3 through 15. For ticket information, visit the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines’ website at www.CivicCenter.org .