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'Menopause the Musical' comes to Duluth

Special Photo: GFour Productions From left to right, Kimberly Harris, Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck, Margot Moreland and Liz Hyde perform in "Menopause the Musical" at the Gwinnett Center.

Special Photo: GFour Productions From left to right, Kimberly Harris, Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck, Margot Moreland and Liz Hyde perform in "Menopause the Musical" at the Gwinnett Center.

IF YOU GO

• What: “Menopause the Musical”

• When: Oct. 4 through Oct. 14

• Where: Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth

• Cost: $46.50 to $56.50

• For more information: Visit www.gwinnettcenter.com

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Special Photo: GFour Productions From bottom clockwise, Margot Moreland, Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck, Kimberly Harris and Liz Hyde perform in "Menopause the Musical" at the Gwinnett Center.

DULUTH -- Forget talking about the birds and the bees or what childbirth is really like -- it's time for the discussion of "the change."

That's right. Menopause.

Beginning Oct. 4, "Menopause the Musical" takes stage at the Gwinnett Center with popular songs, snarky jokes and the reality of the female's morphing hormones.

"I'm always surprised by (the play's) personality," said Kimberly Vanbiesbrouck, who plays the "soap star" role. "Each character is relatable to someone in the audience -- no one was left out. Everyone knows the music even though the words are changed. There is something they love about it. I've met people to say they've seen it 10 times."

Here's the plot: Four women shopping in Bloomingdale's have nothing in common except the search for a black lace bra and menopausal symptoms.

The characters come together to sing musical parodies to classic tunes from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Some of the songs are "Change, Change, Change," "Puff, My God, I'm Draggin'" and "My Husband Sleeps Tonight."

With the modifications in the lyrics, it's hard not to wonder how the women keep a straight face while on stage, but the cast becomes immune to the humor and has fun with the words, according to Vanbiesbrouck.

"After awhile, it's so ingrained in you. I have a blast," she said. "I love doing it because of the audience and every audience reacts differently."

When Vanbiesbrouck first auditioned for the play, she didn't feel she was the right fit for the part, but after taking stage with the three other ladies, she quickly knew this was where she was meant to be.

"First, I thought I was way too young to do it," she said. "The first time I (performed) it was in Detroit. I didn't know what the show was going to be. After meeting all day and hearing the reaction from the crowd, it was insane. I've never had an audience that isn't loving it."

She lived in Detroit for more than three years performing and she hasn't looked back since.

The writer and creator of "Menopause the Musical," Jeanie C. Linders, has seen much success from her play over the past decade and she wanted to put her good fortune into something positive. In 2005, Linders established The Jeanie C. Linders Fund, a nonprofit that receives its funding from ticket sales at the show. The money goes to "helping to heal women who have been sexually assaulted, raise awareness about ovarian cancer, and rebuild homes and hopes for women and their families who have survived natural disasters," according to its website.

So when people go watch the show for a few laughs, they are also contributing to a good cause.

"If you want to have a good time, 'Menopause the Musical' is the show without a doubt," Vanbiesbrouck said. "There is a sisterhood. I've never found someone who couldn't relate to something in the show. It's pure entertainment."

The play runs through Oct. 14.