MENOPAUSE OUT LOUD by Jeanie Linders, directed by Michael Larsen (G4 Productions). Capitol Event Theatre (2492 Yonge). Indefinite run. $49.95. 416-872-1111. See Continuing, page 100. Rating: NNN Rating: NNNNN
Know what you're getting into with Menopause Out Loud : the songs boast titles like Puff, My God I'm Dragging, a parody of Puff, The Magic Dragon with lyrics about hot flashes, night sweats and hormonally induced bitchiness.
The four nameless female characters fit broad types that, rattled off, sound like the beginning of a dirty joke about what happens when a housewife, a hippie, a power suit and a tart walk into the bra sale at Bloomingdale's. Never mind the story all you need to know is that song and dance ensue.
It's up to the actors to make those types work, something they all do well. Alana Bridgewater 's Tina Turner hustle and powerhouse vocals on What's Love Got To Do With It and Nicole Robert 's sardonic style make their performances particularly memorable.
The others do less to personalize their characters, but they've still got chutzpah. As an aging soap star, Jayne Lewis swans around the deco set, striking poses to show off her stunning dancer's physique while working her fierce vocal range.
And newcomer Rose Ryan plays a knock-kneed bumpkin who experiences a sexual awakening with a red microphone.
Head mics turned too high added a shrill edge to the performance I saw, but if I'd quaffed an EstroGin and Tonic like many in the audience did during the pre-show Happy Hot Flash Hour, maybe I'd need extra decibels, too.
Already playing to nearly full houses, Menopause Out Loud will likely run through the fall, providing saucy nights out for gaggles of women entering or experiencing the silent passage.