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Teri Adams’ first request when she arrives at the theater to perform in Menopause the Musical is to crank up the air conditioning.
“I was nowhere near menopause when I started with this show thirteen years ago. For me, it was just another job,” she says. “Now when I’m singing and dancing about hot flashes, I think, Oh yeah, this is what it’s all about. Now I understand.”
As the show’s name implies, Menopause the Musical is a celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “the change.” The sassy show plays Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Energy Center on November 4 at two o’clock.
Set in a department store, the show spotlights four women who meet while shopping for a black lace bra at a lingerie sale. They find they have more in common than they knew, and a lot of those shared experiences revolve around hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles, weight gain, and more.
Adams plays the role of an Iowa housewife. “I’m from Kansas City and I bring the Midwest ‘every woman’ perspective to the show,” she says. “My character has the biggest arc. She starts out naïve and quiet, and then she finds herself.”
Her fellow cast members include a child of the 1960s, an aging folk star whose job is being replaced by someone younger, and a corporate woman with a type-A personality.
Like their characters, the actresses in the show started out as strangers and have “ended up as friends,” Adams says.
The lively 90-minute production features singing, dancing, and parodies of classic pop songs of the 60s, 70s and 80s. “We are trying to make menopause fun and get a conversation started,” Adams says. “We had one male patron tell us this show should be a required course for men. The men that come to the show love it.”
The show’s prevailing message is one of hope and encouragement that humorously squelches the notion that menopause ends the fun phase of a woman’s life. “The best years of our lives as women are not necessarily behind us,” says Adams. “The show is about empowerment. We are still viable, healthy, attractive women, with much to share.”
Adams is amazed when she thinks of the longevity of the show – seventeen years and counting. In addition to the touring productions, the show is the longest running scripted production in Las Vegas and continues to entertain nightly at Harrah’s Las Vegas. “We have lots of repeat audience members,” she says.
By the end of the show, the audience becomes the fifth girlfriend. “We invite women on stage with us for a kick line. So many women say to us, ‘I really needed this. It’s the hardest I have laughed in a long time,’” Adams says. “You can’t get anything more rewarding than that.”
For tickets, visit BroadwayinRichmond.com.