‘Menopause Monologues’: over 50 laughs | SummitDaily.com

‘Menopause Monologues’: over 50 laughs

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After the “Vagina Monologues” successfully swept the nation, you just knew menopause would soon follow. But who guessed a local would take the plunge?

B.J. Knapp, co-founder of Lake Dillon Theatre Company, has written the “Menopause Monologues” for the Backstage Theatre, and with it, she brings plenty of laughs, chuckles and empathetic nods.

She presents a series of vignettes, from a trio of self-conscious red-hat divas at happy hour to a review of societal attitudes toward all things womanly from the 1950s forward.

And, just in case you thought menopause was a women’s-only issue, think again. Knapp folds men’s midlife crises in the mix, as well as their reactions to their aging and sometimes quite emotional spouses.

Through the three-woman play, Knapp aims to redefine menopause as not just “the (unspeakable) change,” but as a beautiful passage in life. But that doesn’t mean the play is all laughs and wonder.

Some of her stories focus on husbands dying or trading their wife in for a newer model. Others deal with an aging parent with Alzheimer’s disrupting a midlife honeymoon, in which both partners looked forward to time alone, without the kid (who, incidentally, also moves in – with his tattooed girlfriend – after being laid off).

Nevertheless, Knapp’s overall message in the monologues is, “don’t pack it in, because there’s a hell of a lot of life out there.”

At age 74, Knapp plays the elder woman in the vignettes, at times wise and calm, and at others, a little woozy from drinking Long Island ice teas. Wanda Creen and Peggy Mundinger – the latter of which delivered an excellent performance of “Parallel Lives” last fall and continues to do so in this play – round out the show. Wendy Moore adds her expertise as director.

While the material is targeted toward older women, men and younger women can appreciate its themes of family, change and reassessment in life.

“The piece is meant to be very empowering and really underline the fact that this is a beautiful passage of life,” Knapp said, “and you’ve got so much wisdom to pass on.”

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