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'Menopause the Musical' cast feels the love

June 21, 2013|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • The characters in Menopause The Musical include a fading soap opera star, a forceful executive, an Iowa housewife and an ex-hippie.
Submitted photos

It’s the musical parodies that get the audience laughing and clapping — songs like the golden oldie “My Guy” that becomes “My Thighs.”

But it’s the self-deprecating jokes about hot flashes, sleepless nights, weight gain and Jekyll-and-Hyde personality changes that create a bonding experience among the audience and cast members.

Add sassy dialogue, handsome staging and funny scenes like a bra fight at a lingerie sale and you have a comedic piece of theatre known as “Menopause The Musical.”

Since its debut in 2001, the play has been a mini-juggernaut, entertaining sell-out crowds in more than 250 American cities and 14 countries. It is estimated that 11 million people across the world have attended the show.

The reason for its success, isn’t complicated, said cast member Ingrid Cole.

“No matter what language you speak or what country or continent you’re on, all women go through ‘the change,’” Cole said. “We can all relate. And sometimes we need to laugh about it. When you put women in a room and realize that you are not alone, it goes from being an awful thing to being empowering.”


Local audiences will have an opportunity to share in the sisterhood when “Menopause The Musical” comes to The Maryland Theatre for three performances: 7 p.m. Friday, June 28; and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29.

Tickets are on sale at the theater box office.

The all-female cast of characters includes a fading soap opera star, a forceful executive, an Iowa housewife and an ex-hippie. They bond over menopausal woes. Cole plays the former hippie, known as Earth Mother.

In real life, “she and I are very similar,” Cole said. “We’re both grounded and ‘the care-taker.’ We have a good sense of humor and are able to laugh at ourselves. The real difference is that I am a child of the ’80s, while she’s a child of the ’60s.”

Cole said she has been a cast member of “Menopause The Musical” since 2005 and was one of original cast members from the national touring company.

Classically trained by her father, who is still her voice coach, the singer and actress’ love of entertaining began at an early age, she noted.

She remembers singing her first solo in church when she was 8 years old “and in middle school, the choir did a little skit and I was chosen to be the lead lady.”

“I was never afraid to perform in front of people,” Cole said. “I loved it and haven’t stopped. I have always loved telling stories through song.”

Throughout the years, Cole said, “I’ve gotten to do many roles and all of them have been important to me and my career. Playing Rose in ‘Gypsy’ is a favorite, as well as Aggie in ‘A Catered Affair’” — a role that won her the 2010 Suzi Bass Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. The award celebrates excellence in Atlanta’s professional theater community.

Cole was nominated for a Florida Carbonell Award for Best Supporting Actress in “Grand Night for Singing” and won a Curtain Up award for the same show.

She also has appeared in “Call Me Madame,” “Ragtime,” “Into the Woods,” “Nunsense” and “Nunsense Jamboree.”

Cole said one of the bonuses of performing in “Menopause The Musical” is being able to interact with the audience.

In addition to singing along to some of the musical parodies from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, people “come up to us after the show and hug us and tell us ‘thank you, thank you, thank you,’” Cole said. “They had felt that they were alone and now they know they’re not.  They tell us how they haven’t laughed in years and how grateful they are that they came.”

And it’s not just women who are filling those theater seats.

“Men love this show,” Cole said. “I see them out there nodding their heads and pointing to their wives. This show is guaranteed to make anyone laugh, no matter what age or gender.”

“We feel the love every night,” Cole said. “That’s what makes this show so special.”

If you go ...

What: “Menopause The Musical”

When: 7 p.m.  Friday, June 28, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29

Where: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

Cost: Tickets are $45 to $65 and are available by contacting The Maryland Theatre box office at 301-790-3500 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or at

Submitted photos

The characters in “Menopause The Musical” include a fading soap opera star, a forceful executive, an Iowa housewife and an ex-hippie. 

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