Guys: ‘Menopause’ isn’t just for the ladies

For the CDTJune 20, 2014 

From left, Liz Hyde, Ingrid Cole, Sandra Benton and Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck star in “Menopause: The Musical,” making its return to the State Theatre with six shows.

PHOTO PROVIDED

  • if you go

    What: “Menopause: The Musical”

    When: 8 p.m. June 20-21 and 24-25; and 3 p.m. June 21-22

    Where: State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College

    Info: www.thestatetheatre.org, 272-0606

The change” is something that’s going to happen to every woman in the world, so why not celebrate the inevitable? “Menopause: The Musical” has built a cult following on this celebration and will return to the State Theatre with a six-show run.

Set in a Bloomingdale’s department store during a lingerie sale, “Menopause” features four women of varying backgrounds who bond and find commonality over “the change.” With more than 20 parodies of classic songs reflective of its title subject, the musical is a humorously refreshing and pleasantly empowering look at an often misunderstood rite of passage.

“It’s a great feeling when after a show, the women in the audience will come up to me and say ‘I’m you, I’m your character, I love what you did. You really touched me and you really made a difference,’ ” said Sandra Benton, an Atlanta-based actress who plays “Professional Woman.” “The audience will share very personal stories with us, and for me, that’s an incredible legacy, getting to touch so many people and having the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Of course it makes sense that the target audience of “Menopause” is women, but it’s not an exclusive girl’s club.

“If you are a guy and you come to the show, you are going to recognize your wife, your girlfriend, your mother, your aunt, and you’re going to see all of the women in your life on the stage,” Benton said. “I’ve actually spoken to some guys who have told me, ‘You know, if I would have seen this show a few years ago, I might not have gotten a divorce. I didn’t know what they were going through, but now I get it.’ ”

Rite-of-passage scenarios include the women poking fun at hot flashes and night sweats, mood swings, forgetfulness and aging in general. But the biggest takeaway from those attending “Menopause: The Musical” is that, despite its reputation and subject matter, it’s a production that is for everyone.

“It’s a 90-minute roller coaster ride,” Benton said. “It’s funny, it’s poignant and it’s a great time for a night out with either your girlfriends or your spouse, and you’ll be laughing until your face hurts.”

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