The show winding up this weekend at the Circle Theatre is called Hot Flashes: Revelations of the Dangerous Age, but one of these days men won’t find such scenes so eye-opening. Not if they’ve encountered this one as well as Menopause: the Musical and The Vagina Monologues.
Director Roxanne Wach, who also directed The V Monologues, calls Hot Flashes “another vignette show,” done with as few as two cast members and as many as 20. She works with four, including three who performed in the same production six years ago for Broadstreet Theatre.
But that was in the much larger Bellevue Little Theater, an old movie house, where most of the audience was women. “It’s closer to half men now,” Wach notes.
Barb Ross suggested revisiting the play in this smaller venue below the sanctuary of the Central Presbyterian Church. So she returns to the cast along with Kay Clark and Sherry Josland Fletcher from the Broadstreet cast. They’re joined by Stephanie Anderson, “a great addition,” the director says.
The women play different characters in every scene. Wach cut one long scene that requires five players, and without an intermission the play runs 85 to 90 minutes, depending on the laughter.
It opens with Woman 1 asking, “Does it seem hot in here?” Woman 2 replies, “When doesn’t it seem hot?” They notice that even the men look warm and wonder, “Do you suppose it’s contagious?”
Instead, they decide the men might simply be suggestible because, “After all, the show is called HOT FLASHES.”
While playwrights Dori Appel and Carolyn Myers, who wrote the material to be performed by themselves, deal with plenty of menopause symptoms, “They include a lot of stuff that’s universal to aging,” Wach says, such as extended hunting for eye glasses or arms too short for reading. And they touch subjects “people don’t talk about much.”
The director likes to work puppets into plays and she didn’t have to ad-lib them since they’re included in the script. Well, she did add some baby puppets she had handy.
“I know the playwrights,” Roxanne explains, so there’s no problem improvising.
The run closes with 8 p.m. performances at 726 S. 55th St. on Thursday-Saturday and a 2 p.m. finale on Sunday. Show only tickets are $13, $10 for seniors, children and military. Dinner is served an hour earlier for an additional $10.
Call 402.553.4715 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.