Image via WikipediaMenopause - a word often shunned in association with aging, unpleasant hormonal changes and unpredictable mood swings.
Unfortunately, the bad news is, every female has to go through it; and if the men know what is good for them, they would duly support their mothers, wives and daughters through the process.
Since it's inevitable, menopause is better met head-on with positive cheer instead of dread, and you know what they say – laughter works wonders.
Apparently, a lot of women in Singapore agree, with "Menopause The Musical (MTM)" back in less than half a year due to popular demand.
If you haven't seen this show already, it should for sure go on your bucket list.
The hilarious play celebrates women undergoing The Change – another term for menopause, spoofing catchy hits from the 1960s to 1980s rewritten with witty lyrics.
The show is set against a backdrop of a departmental store – a place most women can relate to – and features four very different women (a professional, a housewife, a hippie earth mother and a soap star) fighting over a black lace bra or was it wicking pajamas for night sweats. In any case they bond through their menopausal experiences.
Every woman in the audience will be able to find a favorite character to relate to, or find a little bit of herself in each of the four characters, such as founder and writer of the play, Jeanie Linders.
"I am my characters... all of them," she said in an email interview with Channelnewsasia.com. "The Power Woman who bought into Gloria Steinem's 'you can be it all' routine in the early '80s and ran businesses since 1979; the aging Soap Star - the diva personality who cringes at the sight of the wrinkles in the mirror, but still walks into the room with a 'look at me' attitude; the lost in the '60s Earth Mother, who has always worn long skirts and Birkenstocks and feels very much at home at a Left Coast poetry reading; and of course, the nurturing Iowa Housewife.
"I was raised to get married and have four kids. I just forgot along the way and there is a part of me that knows something is missing... that I transfer to my spoiled Cotons, Maddie and Moxie Linders.
"And the irony is that the women in the audience identify in the same way. They, too, have the personality traits of all of the characters... and can relate to what each is experiencing."
And it's not just menopausal women who can relate to the musical.
"'MTM' is about women, not about theatre," explained Linders. "Comparing the show to 'traditional' musicals is an exercise in futility. Women who love the show (and the men who love them) relate to what is happening on stage. I have seen many men nudge their female companions and say, 'that's you... now I get it.'
"A lot of daughters, husbands, sisters, join the women who are of 'the age', often taken by the woman so they will understand what they are going through. I have, in fact, had male doctors tell me that they 'learned' something from the show... and that is how to relate to a menopausal woman.
"Menopause is not a disease with symptoms; it is a life passage that defies explanation in many cases. Seeing and hearing the cast enact this life passage creates a point of relationship for all involved."
Apart from laughter being the best remedy, understanding The Change can ease the process. Of course, a little bit of alcohol doesn't hurt either.
"Understanding that menopause is not a death sentence or disease but a life passage that needs to be experienced helps one to breeze through the process," said Linders. "Of course, wine helps with everything, doesn't it?"