“Menopause the Musical 2:Cruising Through the Change”, the sequel to the 2001 hit “Menopause the Musical” will be performed from November 7-12 at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center in Aventura after finishing a seen day run at the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center in Davie.
Based on original characters created by playwright Jeanie Linders, the plot features the same four characters (Earth Mother, Iowa Housewife, Professional Woman and Soap Star) who met five years ago at a department store, now are going together to set sail on a relaxing cruise.
The story has each of the characters lamenting about their lives by singing about their adventures with rewritten lyrics of popular songs from the 1970s-90s. As was the case in the original “Menopause the Musical”, the song parodies funny lines and anecdotes regarding hot flashes, mood swings, lapses of memory, among other topics discussed by the four women onboard the ship.
The songs with rewritten lyrics include “Come What May”, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”, “Knock Three Times”, “Lady Marmalade”, “Let’s Hear It For The Boys”, “Roxanne” along with 15 other songs.
The humor comes from the references to menopause and other aspects of aging through the cleverly rewritten lyrics to the songs.
Each of the four actresses stand out both in their individual songs ,but are at their best when they exchange quips and sing together in songs such as “That’s What Friends Are For.”
As Soap Star, Katie Karel shines with her hysterical whining and her dancing in the show. Her humor comes from not being the ingénue on a popular soap opera for many years. Her acting credits include “Hairspray”, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers”, and “Sweeney Todd”.
Kimberly Ann Harris plays the Professional Woman, who draws laughs from her memory lapses, such as forgetting the names of her grandchildren.
Professional Woman is a high power executive who wants to be in control of everything in her life. Her funniest scenes in the show come from her being out of control with menopause and the havoc it is wreaking on her life. .
Harris had her Broadway debut in “The Color Purple” and performed regionally in “The Full Monty” and the original “Menopause The Musical.”
LaDonna Burns unites the women together in her role as Earth Mother, getting laughs for her anecdotes about her unhelpful husband as well as for following astrology and being a vegetarian.. Burns is well-known for her roles in “Cinderella”, “Mary Poppins”, “Rent” and “Smokey Joe’s Café.
Nancy Slusser as the Iowa Housewife, draws both laughs and drama as a widow who has romantic feelings for the ship’s captain after at first grieving the loss of her husband of thirty years. Like Harris, Slusser was in the original “Menopause The Musical” and is also known for her performances in “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” and “The Music Man.”
The set design by Sean McClelland captures the excitement of the ladies aboard the ship. Director Seth Greenleaf moves the story and songs along without a dull moment in the 90 minute, one act production.
“Menopause The Musical 2: Cruising ThroughThe Change ” runs from November 7-12 at 8 PM. There are 2 PM matinees on Saturday, Nov. 11 and Sunday Nov. 12 at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188 Street in Aventura. Tickets range from $30-60.75. and can be purchased at 954-462-0222 or online at aventuracenter.org.