I caught two worthy plays on the weekend …
Both coming from female viewpoints, and performed by women … yet each one will entertain the menfolk as well. Both “slice of life” stories, with plenty of laughs and much to ponder … do try to catch them!
Menopause The Musical
Directed playfully by Seth Greenleaf, and cleverly written by Jeanie Linders, this is an insightful and uplifting barrel of fun! Having run worldwide since 2001, nearly 11 million women have attended a production of this riotous musical play. It is a “celebration of women who are on the brink of … in the middle of … or have survived ‘the change of life.’” Offering two dozen clever parodies of pop classic hit songs from the ‘60s through the ‘80s, with altered lyrics, it chronicles the emotional and physical “changes” women go through as they age. This is a wonderful show! Taking place in a department store (on a classy set by Bud Clark), four female strangers form a bond, sharing their stories of hot flashes, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain, wrinkles, etc. The maniacally menopausal gals strut their stuff in quirky costumes by Sue Hill, as each shares their life stories and concerns. Riotously relatable and heartfelt throughout … the audience had a ball! All good vocalists … Kimberly Ann Harris is a sassy standout as the “professional woman,” Margot Moreland is feisty and fabulous as the “earth mother,” Kathy St. George is perky as “the soap star,” and Liz Hyde is a scream as the “Iowa housewife.” A fun-filled “gals night out,” I invited along three attractive, smart, and savvy girlfriends. At different ages and stages of the “change of life” process … we all had a great time! Like a universal sisterhood of camaraderie, we all laughed, teared up, related, and cheered, as the ladies poignantly and hilariously told their stories. Ladies: Why not take your fella along with you? It just may make your life and menopausal experience a bit easier for you … if the man in your life finally “gets it!” The guys in the audience the night I went also seemed to be having a blast! There are countless hilarious moments! Only a short time left to see the show here at NoHo’s El Portal Theatre, so you must be quick! Closing on Sunday, Feb. 3 … (that’s four more days). To book seats call (818) 508-4200. Group discounts of 10+ are available by calling (818) 686-8587 ext. 3.
The Alex Theatre in Glendale will also run this show for only two performances – Feb. 26 and 27. For tickets there call (818) 243-2539 (same 10+ offer applies, at the 888 number).
Giving up is Hard to Do
Triumphantly written and performed with multi-layered and heartfelt perfection, by Annie Abbott … this is a humorously touching and deeply involving “solo” play. Sharing her life from the gut-wrenching “inside-out” … she invites us into her most personal and challenging world. An actress, loving wife, mother, and breast cancer survivor … she has quite a story to tell. Exposing her wicked sense of humor, passionate heart, and soaring spirit … the audience was transfixed throughout. Offering personal stories about her beloved, now-deceased husband Ronnie, her family, her bout with breast cancer, and her hilarious online dating nightmares … she takes us from tears to laughter repeatedly. Annie, and all of the characters she portrays, come to life for us in living color … as we follow her brave and commendable ability to face life’s unexpected adversities. Directed with true-to-life compassion by Joel Zwick (best known for directing My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and featuring set design, sound, and lighting by Francois-Pierre Couture, the mood is set perfectly for her flawless performance. This is a highly rewarding, meaningful, and “up close and personal” evening of theater. I do hope you will take time out to see it! Running through March 17 at The Little Victory Theatre located at 33264 Victory Blvd. in Burbank. For tickets call (818) 841-2422.
Towne Street Theatre
A highly respected, largely African-American troupe will present their sixth annual production of “one acts” titled “The Black Experience.” At 10 minutes each, some are comedic, some are serious, some controversial. I’ve attended their “one act” festivals before, and have always been impressed! The quality of their scripts (chosen from worldwide submissions), acting, and direction is always top notch! Overbooked … I’m not able to review the show till their second weekend, but wanted to give you a heads up! Opening Feb. 1 and only running for 3 weeks, at $15 a seat, if you’d like to attend go to townestreet.org at Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood.
That’s my story for this week … As always … more to come soon.