Menopositive! The Musical
Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island
Until May 2nd, 1998
THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE, UPBEAT, AND POIGNANT MUSICAL
by Patricia Fleming
"We may be getting older...but we're coming to terms and happier for it" could have been the by line for "Menopositive! The Musical", now playing at The Waterfront Theatre. This upbeat, and sometimes poignant musical revue, was thoroughly enjoyed by this reviewer and a group of (mostly middle aged) women last April 16th.
A series of musical numbers centering around four women who come together to work on a revue for a High School reunion, the major things they all have in common are (a) they are all fifty-something and have led very different lives since High School and (b) a character called Charles Sawyer, who is married to one (Cynthia), is the father of another's child (Kate), and has had affairs with the other two (Marnie and Zsu Zsu).
Cynthia is a suburban well-off matron, married to Charles and childless. Kate is a single mom on welfare, a reformed alcoholic, and a writer. Marnie is a thrice-divorced, successful businesswoman, bedding a much younger man. And Zsu Zsu is a widowed Hungarian former stage-star who is now a cleaning lady.
The show, via song, takes us through many of their collective middle age trials and tribulations: aging, sex, the empty nest, vanity, fidelity, hormonal changes, work, aging parents, marriage, dating, love, pain...just about everything... but done with humour,energy and great gusto.
Menopositive is nicely paced, and the four characters address different experiences via a variety of musical themes: Gospel is the vehicle for vanity and aging (this was my favourite....a very energetic number!) Keeping or losing a man was a Wild West Saloon type rendition with Kate playing an old time frontier woman to express keepin' or losin' a man; and Country music expressed the song about "Lurv".
The set is simple and effective, with a piano to accompany their voices, and the harmonies throughout were very expressive of their collective female experiences.
It was a fun musical experience and satisfying because at the show's end, Cynthia has learnt to stand up for herself; Kate has a job offer from Marnie and sees that she can be the artist she wants to be; Marnie is coming to terms with the little, lost girl from her past; and Zsu Zsu is ready for success. Everyone has evolved! What more could we ask for!?
Copyright 1998 Patricia Fleming