Broadway Producers GFour Productions Bring Broadway Musical to L.A.
For close to two hours Marabina Jaimes (La Mujer Professional), Diana Burbano (La Ama de Casa), Paloma Morales (La Estrella de Telenovela) and Graciela Valderrama (La Mujer Naturalista) decry, sing, dance and laugh about hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain and memory loss, all symptoms of the, shhhh! “Cambio de vida”, the Change of life. It’s a topic not often discussed among Spanish speaking communities, however Menopausia El Musical® is aiming to changing that. GFour Productions presents the Spanish translation of Jeanie Linder’s Menopause The Musical® at the Ricardo Montalban, to the audience’s delight and uproarious laughter.
Since 2001, Menopause, The Musical®has been entertaining and inspiring women nationwide and internationally. Written by Linders, this uplifting 90-minute production includes parodies of songs of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Gfour figured it was time to bring this musical to the L.A. Spanish speaking community. The song parodies in this production are taken one step further and translated into Spanish. Songs like My Girl, California Dreaming, andYMCA among others. Although this audience might not recognize the songs they nonetheless responded to the lyrics.
The day I attended I watched the audience of groups of Latinas, which included Spanish-speaking mothers, their bilingual daughters and granddaughters (and a few men). There was a lot of finger pointing, laughing and head nodding when they recognized the symptoms among their group.
The play takes place in Bloomingdales department store in New York. Navigating from floor to floor, the four newfound friends commiserate and find they have a lot in common to sing about.
Jaimes, Morales, Burbano and Valderrama go beyond the Broadway “Triple Threat” (dancer, singers and actresses) label, because they add the language element, making them the “Quadruple Queens’ of musicals and they do it all without an intermission.
Morales somehow makes the agonizing hot flashes come off as “hot and sexy” with her steamy rendition of her songs. Jaimes does a spot on parody of Tina Turner’s (wig and all) song What’s Love Got to do With It; and the earnest Ama de Casa, played by Burbano reveals her inner “erotic” in the last number in the play, pink microphone and all.
If the audience had any apprehension at the beginning of the play about the topic (which this audience didn’t seem to have) by the end it become a cause for celebration as half the audience rushed on stage to sing along with the cast and laugh in the face of Menopause!
Under the direction of Seth Greenleaf, this production is a little gem ready to hit the road. However, the question remains. Is the Spanish-speaking audience ready for this play and what is the best way to market it to them? Because in spite of the top notch talent and production the audience was small.
The play is currently in the last two weeks of its run at the Ricardo Montalban. The tickets are a steal at $25 for 90 minutes of non-stop laughter and the performances of this incredibly talented cast.
Presented by GFour Productions, directed by Seth Greenleaf; assistant director Roberta B. Wall; translation by Vivis Colobetti; Choreograpy by Daria Lynne Melendez; Set design by Jessica Silvetti; Lighting designer Ryan A. Patridge.
Performances Thursday, Friday & Saturday 8:00pm; Saturday matinee at 3:00pm and Sunday matinee at 5:00pm at The Montalbán Theatre, 1615 North Vine Street, Hollywood, California 90028.