‘Menopause: The Musical’ coming to Charlotte, supports breast cancer research

South Charlotte Weekly

Characters joke about the physical, emotional and mental symptoms associated with menopause during the play, which takes center stage in Charlotte on Oct. 1 through 3. Tickets cost $45 to $50 and benefit Susan G. Komen. Photo courtesy of Aurora

Kathi Glist, director of “Menopause: The Musical,” believes she directs a show that inspires and comes alive in the hearts of all women.

Charlotte theatergoers will have the opportunity to participate in the inspirational experience Glist raves about Oct. 1 through 3 at Blumenthal Performing Arts McGlohon Theater.

The show comes to Charlotte in partnership with Susan G. Komen and Celebrate the Tatas, known as “The Survivor Tour,” to raise awareness and provide financial support in the fight against breast cancer.

“Menopause: The Musical” brings together a cast of four women from different walks of life who are all experiencing the “change of life.” The women meet at a shopping department’s bra sale and the show takes audience members through their shopping day, where the characters find commonalities and forge friendships – all the while, finding humor in their hot flashes, mood swings and other menopausal symptoms.

Glist said familiar tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s are lyrically transformed into a musical parody that aligns with the story, such as when Mary Wells’ anthem “My Guy” turns into “My Thighs” and pokes fun at the physical changes that happen to women’s bodies when going through menopause.

Glist feels the story provides an honest, yet funny, depiction of the realities of menopause and the significance of women supporting one another through it.

“It’s not uncommon for a woman to strike up a conversation with another woman that she doesn’t know and discuss intimate details of her life,” she said. “It’s an integral part of the way women are wired.”

Jeanie Linders wrote the story having no prior production experience. Linders was, however, going through menopause and wanted to share her life experiences in a fun, lighthearted way. Glist said the rawness from her writing and desire to bring women together through menopause is evident in the script and transcends the stage to the audience.

“Women in the audience become the fifth character – shouting out lines and adding to the story,” she said. “Women leave the show with a feeling of camaraderie and even men leave the show with a better understanding and appreciation for what women go through.”

Glist said the show formed a partnership with Susan G. Komen last year, as a way to continue raising awareness for women’s issues. She said charitable causes have always been a part of the show; in the past they’ve made donations to support ovarian cancer and rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina.

“Breast cancer is so rampant,” she said. “It is important that we committed to this cause.”

GFour Productions pledged to donate $50,000 to Susan G. Komen and also donate $2 from each ticket sold to support breast cancer research and services in the cities where it’s performed.

Glist and GFour Productions picked up “Menopause: The Musical” during its second year of production in 2002; it has since been produced for the last 13 years in 13 countries and 250 cities, and viewed by more than 11 million people.

Visit http://www.gfourproductions.com/show/18 for more information on “Menopause: The Musical.”

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