Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater will be home to “The Change” beginning Thursday night as “Menopause The Musical” hits town for six performances through Sunday. “Legends in Concert” in Branson is teaming up with GFour Productions, winners of 54 Drama Desk and 44 Tony Awards, to bring the show to Branson.
“We’re so excited and blessed to be hosting this national touring production of ‘Menopause The Musical’ to Branson,” said “Legends in Concert” General Manager Jeannie Horton. “It was extremely successful at our Myrtle Beach location, and we’re looking forward to bringing more of these national touring shows in for short-term runs in the Branson market.”
“Menopause The Musical,” which has been called a “groundbreaking celebration” of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change,” is set in a department store where four women meet while shopping for a black lace bra at a lingerie sale.
After noticing similarities among one another, the cast jokes about their woeful hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles, weight gain and much more. These women form a sisterhood and unique bond with the entire audience as they rejoice in celebrating that menopause is no longer “the Silent Passage.”
The show is a “laughter-filled,” 90-minute production that features a unique story told using parodies of classic pop songs of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
According to Horton, the show offers something different for showgoers in the area.
“This show talks about real life issues for women going through ‘The Change,’ but it’s also funny and not a show just for women,” Horton said. “I took my husband to the show, and while he wasn’t initially thrilled about going, I kept looking over only to see him laughing pretty hard throughout the whole show. He ended up thoroughly enjoying himself and we had a great time.”
The cast for the Branson production of “Menopause The Musical” will feature stage, screen and TV stars Donna J. Huntley, Patti Gardner, Teri Adams and Megan Cavanaugh.
“We are super excited about the level of talent in the cast we’ll have performing here for the next week,” Horton added.
Huntley, who plays “Professional Woman,” has played two different roles in the show off and on since 2004. Some of her favorite Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regional theatre credits include “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music,” “Hairspray,” “Nunsense” and “Chicago.”
Gardner, who has toured with the show since 2001 and originated the role of “Soap Star” in GFour’s first production, has performed on most of the south Florida stages for the last 30 years, and is a multi-Carbonell Award nominee and recipient, as well as the Silver Palm Award. Some credits include “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” “The Price,” “Our Town,” and “Picnic” at the Palm Beach Dramaworks, “Into the Woods” and “Company” at the TheatreZone, and “Chicago” and “Pippin” for the Boca Raton Theatre Guild.
Adams, a Kansas City native who has been with the production since 2006, is set to play “Iowa Housewife.” Although still based out of Kansas City, she has performed this role on numerous tours and sit-down productions across the country. Regional credits include “Ruthless!,” “Blues In The Night,” “Dirty Blonde,” “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and the world premiere of Gregg Coffin’s “Rightnextto Me.”
Rounding out the foursome of leading ladies is Cavanaugh, tackling the role of “Earth Mother.” Cavanaugh has been a working actress for more than 30 years, but is most recognized for her role as Marla Hooch in Penny Marshall’s 1992 box office hit “A League of Their Own.” Some of Cavanaugh’s other credits include the Mel Brooks films “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and “Dracula: Dead and Loving It,” and Disney’s remake of “That Darn Cat.”
She has also lent her voice to animated fare including “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” “Winx Club,” “Tak and the Power of Juju,” and “The Mighty B.” Her TV credits include “Home Improvement,” “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “ER,” “The West Wing” and more. She has been a member of the “Menopause The Musical” cast since 2004.
Horton also said if folks mention “Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks,” they’ll get a discount on their ticket, and part of their purchase will be donated to the foundation.
“That is one of the coolest, most important foundations in this area,” Horton said. “One hundred percent of the proceeds they collect go directly to the people who need it most ... it really is amazing what they do.”
With “Menopause The Musical” taking over Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater for four shows, the “Legends in Concert” show is on hiatus until May 22.
“We specifically picked these dates to host ‘Menopause the Musical’ because it will be between cast changeovers,” Horton said. “Our Spring lineup finished up Tuesday night, and our summer cast will kick off May 22.”
When the show returns, it will feature tributes to the Blues Brothers, Brooks and Dunn, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. “Legends in Concert” will feature a tribute to Bruno Mars June 1 through July 31. The show will also debut a new opening number, as well as a new finale when it returns for the summer run.
Look for a full story on the new opening and closing numbers at “Legends” in an upcoming edition of the Branson Tri-Lakes News.