ACT­ING OUT The lead­ing ladies of ‘Dream­girls,’ ‘Menopause: The Mu­si­cal’

GA Voice - - The Wedding Issue -

Two lo­cal ac­tresses are about to head­line two dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent mu­si­cals, both of which have found sup­port­ive LGBT crowds. Out ac­tress In­grid Cole has per­formed in “Menopause The Mu­si­cal” – the 2001 ve­hi­cle about four women who bond over sto­ries about hot flashes and “the change” – more times than any other in her pro­fes­sional ca­reer and is re­turn­ing this week­end, while Kayce Gro­gan-Wal­lace stars as Effie in At­lanta Lyric Theatre’s ver­sion of “Dream­girls,” open­ing next week­end. We caught up with both per­form­ers to find out what makes these roles so spe­cial to them.

Ge­or­gia Voice: So, how many times have you been in “Menopause” In­grid?

I started it in 2005, and be­tween all the tour­ing I have done, I am guess­ing over 2000 per­for­mances. There were times when I would do the show seven days a week, three straight years in At­lanta. I have toured all over the United States, al­most ev­ery state.

How do you keep it fresh?

That is my job! It is a plea­sure to have it, but it can be a new city ev­ery night, or a new au­di­ence. You’re go­ing to get dif­fer­ent re­ac­tions. It’s great to make thou­sands of women laugh. Usu­ally we sweat and cry about menopause and with this, you are cel­e­brat­ing it.

Tell me about your char­ac­ter, Earth Mother.

She is very cool, a trippy woman from the ’60s. She is the nur­turer of the group. Peo­ple come up af­ter and say they know her!

What is the ap­peal?

With menopause, you don’t have to be a Demo­crat or Repub­li­can an Amer­i­can or black or white. If you are on Earth, you are go­ing to go through menopause. For a man, your wife or sis­ter or mother is go­ing to go through it. Let’s make fun of it! April 8 – 24 At­lanta Lyric Theatre Jen­nie T. An­der­son Theatre 548 S. Ma­ri­etta Park­way Ma­ri­etta, GA 30060 www.at­lantalyricthe­atre.com of suc­cess with her mu­sic, though. That is where she holds power.

Have you ever met orig­i­nal “Dream­girls” star Jen­nifer Holiday?

I have met her twice. One time was when I was eight or nine, singing for the United Ne­gro Col­lege Fund. I was able to go up to her room and I was in awe. A cou­ple of years back she was at a high school per­for­mance of “Dream­girls.” I was a mess, a ridicu­lous fan.

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