Book and Lyrics by Jeanie Linders
Directed by Kathryn Conte
Asolo Repertory Theatre
FSU Center for the Performing Arts
5555 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota, 941-351-8000
To July 14, 2008

Two summers ago, Asolo began a one month presentation, first in the area, of Menopause: The Musical that extended 17 weeks for the biggest hit in Asolo box office history. Since then, audiences have made the anything-but-silent passage during long runs in Tampa and a continual one in its birthplace, Orlando. Sarasota had to have what has become a laugh-along (and sometimes sing-along) celebration of women sharing with and caring about each other the rite of past springtime....

And there's a lot of spring in the gals who bring it to them. They meet as strangers at a Bloomingdale's bra sale and end up as friends touring a lot of departments. Most often the ones with a Ladies Room. Christopher Callen, the only return visitor to Asolo, doesn't look a day older. She thinks she does, though, as the Soap Star who feels closer to getting retired with every episode. Former Hippy, now Earth Mother, Suzanne H. Smart hides her hips in flowing dress. Her attempt at exercise elicits one of the show's funniest parodies: "Puff, My God, I'm Draggin'." Sandy DeWoody is the good-natured Iowa Housewife, shopping while her husband's at his convention. Though she's the one who brings up a constant struggle with weight, all admit "Looking for Food" while on constant diets. Nadeen Halloway is properly professional as the Power Woman, who ultimately turns into a Tina Turner-type powerhouse, complete with definitive song and style.

Though complaining of "Stayin' Awake" or putting weight on "My Thighs" while "Having a Hot Flash," the gals end with a "New Attitude" toward self and each other. Judging from the knowing cheers, laughs, clapping, it's apparent the women who watch them feel the same way. Parody softens their complaints while eliciting a chockful of recognition and permitting "girl talk" Kinsey'd have sanctioned. The show's logo is of boomer-type chorines kicking it up. It's a fitting depiction of the cast's vigorous dancing as well as back-up singing and swaying for solo numbers.

Though the show is cast nationally by creator Jeanie Linders, local musicians are employed. Fine performers are: Michael Sebastian, Keyboard and (after National Music Supervisor Alan J. Plado) Local Musical Director; Jerome Butler, Bass, Chris Bowen, Percussion. Matthew Parker operates Sound. Stage Manager for the 90 minute show is Roxanne Fay.

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