Yup, this play has been around since 2001, but I saw it for the first time last Saturday night. As the playbill states, Menopause the Musical has been seen by nearly 11 million women in over 250 cities in 14 countries. Obviously, I\’m a bit late to the party, but it was worth it.

The play cleverly and hilariously parodies popular songs – the refrain Chain, Chain, Chain from “Chain of Fools” becomes Change, Change, Change; “Stayin\’ Alive” transforms into Stayin\’ Awake; “I\’m Sorry” morphs into I\’m Flashing, and “Puff, The Magic Dragon” is now Puff, My God, I\’m Dragging. And “Good Vibrations”….well, that one didn\’t have to be altered much to get the point across!

Honestly, I didn\’t think I would enjoy this play as much as I did. Remember when Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President in 1984 and some concerns were expressed that she would be too moody, or would have hot flashes at critical times? And, having read Betty Friedan\’s, The Feminine Mystique and Germaine Greer\’s, The Female Eunuch, and taking a course as an undergraduate (in the 1970s) where our textbook was Our Bodies, Ourselves, I grew up believing that women were men\’s equals, and menopause was a natural part of a woman\’s life, not something to be feared, ridiculed, or marking the beginning of the end of memory, bodily control, and/or attractiveness. (Menopause and Midlife crisis are listed as synonyms in the 2010 edition of Roget\’s Thesaurus!)

But…I have to admit, the play sucked me in – four likeable strong females played the roles of a professional woman, a soap opera star, an “earth mother” and a housewife (a term I still detest). And, in addition to the creative and fun lyrics, the play ends on an uplifting song of strength and female solidarity, “A New Attitude.” If it comes to a theater near you, I\’d recommend seeing it with some female friends – a good women\’s night out.

Jan Cullinane is the co-author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale, 2007). She gives seminars on the (primarily) non-financial aspects of retirement through her company, "Retirement Living from A to Z."