The Laughs Are Endless At The Playhouse @ Westport Plaza with ‘Menopause The Musical’

If you’re looking for a perfect girls’ night out, the side-splitting musical comedy “Menopause the Musical” is just the ticket.

Now at the Playhouse @ Westport through March 31, this zippy celebration of sisterhood has been a perennial favorite in St. Louis and a huge hit in Las Vegas for 16 years.

The predictable, but fun, story centers on four women dealing with “the change.” They bond during a lingerie sale: a soap opera star, an Iowa housewife, an earth mother and a business professional, and share their comical and frustrating common experiences after-40.

The engaging quartet complement each other well. Laura Ackermann is comfortable as the Earth Mother, and has played the role since 2006. As the Professional Woman, Marty K. Casey depicts the serious and sarcastic character with a perfect blend of sass and humor. Another show veteran, Lee Anne Matthews is candid about the uppity and snobbish Soap Opera Star’s fear of aging as she clings to her youth. As the Iowa Housewife, Rosemary Watts projects the innocence and naivete that elicits many laughs. If “The Golden Girls” was adapted theatrically, it would likely be similar to “Menopause the Musical.”

The women stylize classic pop songs from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s in parodies to fit the story, such as “Heat Wave,” “The Great Pretender” and “Stayin’ Alive.” The melodies are familiar but clever lyrics about hot flashes, mood swings and hormonal changes hilariously convey the women’s feelings about this part of life’s passages. The showstopper is Casey’s parody to Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

The national tour of this 90-minute breezy romp was directed by Seth Greenleaf, with Alan J. Plado the music supervisor and Natalie Nucci the choreographer.

Set designer Bud Clark created roll-on set pieces to switch to different department store areas, and they effectively enhance the action. Costume designer Sue Hill has some surprises in store for the audience that add to the entertaining evening.

No matter what age or gender, the audience can respond to the energy of the performers, sympathizing with their plight. We might as well laugh — and the headliners do everything they can to make that happen.

Produced by GFour Productions, the musical comedy offers multiple shows during the week: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.; Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. until March 31. Tickets are available through www.metrotix.com or 314-534-1111 or at the box office one hour prior to showtime. For more information, visit www.MenopausetheMusical.com or www.playhouseatwestport.com

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