Laughter heals in ‘Menopause The Musical’
Cast of survivors help donate to cancer research
“Menopause The Musical” takes the serious topic of going through “the change” and lightens it up with parody lyrics to hit songs from the ’ 60s, ’ 70s and ’80s.
But with this tour making a stop at Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Jan. 12, there is an added meaning. Titled “Menopause The Musical: The Survivor Tour,” this road tour has a cast of breast cancer survivors and co-survivors. The show, produced by Fort Lauderdale’s GFour Productions, donates a portion of ticket sales to breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen organization.
“We have raised money for women’s causes for a long time, almost from the beginning,” says Seth Greenleaf, the show’s director and a Tony Awardwinning partner at GFour Productions. “I think we’ve raised something like $1 million dollars for things like ovarian cancer. [Komen] seem like a natural partnership for us.”
“Menopause” has toured almost constantly for 13 years and has played Harrah’s in Las Vegas for nine years. The musical has toured 450 U.S. cities and 15 countries. Greenleaf says that the GFour producers were considering what next to do with the theatric franchise when they realized that many of the actors who were in productions were cancer survivors, enough to do a cast. “And not just a cast, but a really, really good cast,” adds Greenleaf.
One of the cast members of the Survivor Tour, Megan Cavanagh, says she has been When: Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m. Where: Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs Cost: Tickets are $32.86, $43.46, $54.06 and $64.66. Contact: 954-344-5990, or CoralSpringsCenter ForTheArts.com with the show for 11 years, first as an understudy and then as a cast member in Chicago-based and San Francisco-based productions. She toured with the show in Singapore and Malaysia.
“And then I got breast cancer,” says Cavanagh, who has appeared in movies such as “A League of Their Own,” “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” as well as several television appearances. “I was out of the show for nine months. I was diagnosed in February 2014 and I went back in the show that fall. I had chemo radia- tion and surgery, lots of surgery, and a partial mastectomy. I went on and I had no hair. After the show so many women we hugging me and saying, ‘I’m a breast cancer survivor too.’ ”
Cavanagh adds that for her being in “Menopause The Musical: The Survivor Tour” is a continuation of that dynamic, with women coming onstage after the show to share their survivor stories with the cast.
“It’s sort of like kicking the door down to be out,” she says. “To say ‘I’m a survivor’ and be out about it. It’s not only empowering to women who have had menopause, but for women who have gone through cancer. Look, at the end of the day, we’re making people laugh so hard that their cheeks hurt. Making people laugh is healing. That’s what it is.”
Linda Boston, Megan Cavanagh, Judy Blue and Teri Adams star in “Menopause The Musical: The Survivor Tour,” coming to the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Jan. 12.