The Open Dosa

Consuming the Ordinary Differently

“Men Love it too!”

What happens at a Las Vegas Musical on Menopause?

An African -American woman is in a suit, walking down the steps at the middle of the stage. She goes straight to the man who is in the audience and seductively sits in his lap. She resembles Oprah and the man is old enough to be her father. The woman sitting right across the table from my mother and I, looks puzzled and like me, she too is wondering if the musical has progressed to a strip tease as it is one of the things Las Vegas is famous for. The poor old man and his wife who together bore witness to this risque display are now laughing.

We are at Menopause, The Musical at Harrah’s on the 30th of May. To my surprise, unlike most musicals I have been to before, this one has tables — much like at award ceremonies, at which the audience is seated. Before the show begins, waiters are walking around taking orders for drinks that will be served during the show. The stage is lit in purple and has a couple of boxes and a few pieces of lingerie hanging out with mirrors around. Funky Town is playing in the background. I smell a mixture of cheap perfume.

“See what millions of women worldwide have been laughing about for 16 years!” The flier has a caricature of four women doing the basic disco point, pointing to a short description of the musical. There is also a small sticker which says “Men love it too!”

My mother’s face changes colour every second from all the different lights that are on stage. The women sitting right in front of us don’t seem too thrilled by the show, one of them has her head propped up by her elbow and the other is on her phone. But then there are a few blonde women who probably just hit or are almost hitting menopause who seem to be having a ball. They are occasionally standing up and singing along with the actors. Mary Wells’ My guy becomes My thighs and the famous The lion sleeps tonight becomes My husband sleeps tonight.

My husband doesn’t want to have sex with me anymore, says the little lady on stage. She is in a short pink dress and has hair that looks like it has never moved. Of the 5 women on stage, she seems the shyest and that is the last thing I thought she’s say. It’s thrilling to watch her thrust her hips forward, much like in Bollywood songs, to Good vibrations with a mike in her hand that is also her vibrator.

The card propped up on the table says ‘Happy Hot Flash Hour’. This menu features the Menopause Mojito, Cranky Cosmo and the Mood swing Martini. Hot flash fans are being sold during the show, the money is going into research for the cure of breast cancer. They are also selling music CD’s of the parodied version of the hit songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s which they shout and harmonize during the show.

I wasn’t aware that arguing with mothers would still be a relevant phenomenon at menopause. My mother chuckles after every three minutes and laughs loudly when the actress on stage is on the phone with her mother, squabbling. Her eyes now dart over to the deep dip in the actress’s dress.

They are inviting all the women from the audience up on stage now that it is the end. The older women have already rushed up on stage and are doing a few moves that are light on their hips.

One blonde woman is singing into the mike and is sure to have watched the musical at least two times before. There are women, especially the one with men, ready to leave but standing in between tables to be courteous while the stage has transformed into a party from the ‘80s.

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Tanya Manavalan

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