Laughing About Aging

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There’s a new show coming to town and it’s called “Menopause: The Musical.” Apparently it’s been taking the nation by storm, and has toured in at least 12 others, since its first performance in March of 2001 in Orlando, Florida. The writer and producer, Jeanie Linders, was inspired by a bottle of wine and a hot flash to create this 90-minute four-woman show around 26 songs from the ’60s and ’70s, cleverly re-tooled to reflect the theme of aging. Thus “My Guy” becomes “My Thighs,” “Chain of Fools” becomes “Change of Life” and the Peter, Paul and Mary classic becomes “Puff, My God, I’m Draggin’.”

“Menopause: The Musical” will be in my hometown in February and I hope to be able to see it despite the ticket price ($47.50 to start). If not, at least I was able to get the gist of it from the website and some videos I found on the Internet. (See one below.)

Another “menopause” show is “Hot Flashes! The Musical,” which has been around since 2002 and originated in Portland, Oregon. Here’s a song from that musical:

Is this really entertainment? If you’re either going through or have survived menopause, it is. It gives aging women a chance to find their “inner comedian.” What better way to deal with something that most of us view with trepidation? It’s a part of life, after all, and will happen to all of us.

What I like about shows like these and others (see here) is that it brings the topic of aging out into the open and gives older women a chance to celebrate this new chapter in their lives. Maybe you have never thought of menopause as something to celebrate, but that’s a view that may be changing. As in so many other things, Baby Boomers may be leading the way in remaking societal and personal attitudes about a condition that used to be something to be ashamed of. You never know what might be next. “Viagra” for women, anyone?

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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