When four very different women meet at a department store lingerie sale, jokes about hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles and sex take the edge off dealing with “The Change” and also become the basis of a unique bond.
Back by popular demand, the musical parody “Menopause: The Musical” returns to Rutland’s Paramount Theatre at 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28.
“The plot is not what’s important with this show,” said actress Megan Cavanagh, who plays Earth Mother. “It’s really an empowerment of women.”
“It’s four completely different women who are types,” Cavanagh explained. “We don’t have character names, we’re types, like Earth Mother, Iowa Housewife, Soap Star and Professional Woman. And our common thread is that we are experiencing menopause.
“We sing parodies of songs that the audience knows and loves from their past, and it’s really just an empowerment for women to say, hey, we’re older, we’re wiser, we may not be as beautiful as we were in our youth, but we have so much more to give, and don’t let what’s happening in your body define who you are.”
Set to classic songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, “Menopause The Musical” is in its 17th year, the longest-running scripted production in Las Vegas, which continues nightly at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
Best known for portraying Marla Hooch in “A League of Their Own,” Cavanagh has been with the show for 15 of its 17 years.
“Lots of shows run for a long time,” she said, “but you never get to play the same role for 15 years. You’d age out of it.”
“This character is so close to who I am that I don’t have to do a lot of work,” Cavanagh said. “There’s not a lot of material that speaks to women of this age group, and I feel really grateful to be part of something for (so) long. And 15 years ago, I was not in menopause. So singing and dancing about (it) now means something so different than it did back then.”
While the show is clearly geared toward women, Cavanagh says in addition to the “giant groups with crowns and boas” that show up, “men love it, too.”
She said, “They come in reluctantly but they always leave smiling. It is just a really great night out; it’ll make your cheeks hurt, you’ll laugh so hard.”