'Menopause' creator strikes again for the 'ditched, dumped, divorced and dating'


Four women voicing their shared challenges and frustrations through classic pop tunes? Sounds like that “M”-word show, but this time it’s “The D*Word.”

Either way, it’s the sound of a creator competing with herself.

“The D*Word — A Musical” is the new one from Jeanie Linders, who created “Menopause The Musical.” It opens July 10 in the same Shimmer Cabaret at the LVH, where “Menopause” played for three years, before moving to Luxor in 2009.

“In a way, she’s kind of competing with her baby, which she doesn’t really reap any benefits from anymore,” says Neal Gardner, a vice president for the producing company, E&M Theatrical Inc.

The new one will run at 8:30 p.m., replacing Rich Little’s “Jimmy Stewart & Friends,” which closes July 1, capping a run of about 14 months in the Shimmer. Little had cut back to three nights a week, alternating the slot with flamenco guitarist Esteban, who is likely to add more weekly shows but perform at 4 p.m.

The asterix after the “D” is explained in the show’s subtitle, “Ditched, Dumped, Divorced and Dating.” Gardner says it’s also Linders’ way of expanding the “Menopause” demographic and appealing to women from ages 25 to 60.

“Her genius in marketing is figuring out who she’s going after and how best to get there,” Gardner says. The new show “hits that part of people’s lives that everyone’s been to, either young or old.”

Gardner spent 11 years overseeing “Menopause” for its producer, GFour Productions. Linders eventually signed over all North and South American rights for the title to GFour, and Gardner left that company to follow her in this fresh start.

“The D*Word” launched in Orlando, Fla., in January, but Gardner says Linders created it with Las Vegas — and specifically the Shimmer — in mind. As the show moves forward, it will be marketed as “The Las Vegas sensation comes to (whatever city).”

The show will open with the original Orlando cast, then audition and train a local cast to take over after Labor Day. Gardner explains it’s “easier once you cast a show to have (the new performers) attend the current show, so they can watch and learn. It’s a lot faster process.”

The LVH plans to play up the party potential with branded shot glasses, and promotions in the Tempo lounge, mingling patrons with those of “Raiding the Rock Vault.” That show, by the way, has a new companion album of covers, “Songs from the Vault, Vol. 1,” which the rockers will be happy to sell you and sign. ...

What could “The D*Word” possibly have in common with “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”? Both will be in town this summer and both are “jukebox” musicals that draft pop hits to tell their stories instead of having someone write original songs.

For “The D*Word,” songs ranging from the Linda Ronstadt chestnut “You’re No Good” to Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” are used “as is,” a departure from the Mad magazine-style parody lyrics in “Menopause.”

As for “Priscilla,” the drag-centric musical has trimmed two weeks off its originally announced 11-week run so it can get sooner to San Francisco, where its appeal is fairly obvious. It now runs June 18 to Aug. 18 at The Venetian. ...

It’s now OK to take your teens to see Frankie Moreno. And they might even want to go after seeing him on “Dancing With the Stars.” The Stratosphere recently lifted age restrictions, allowing those 13 to 18 with parent or guardian to see the entertainer.

Moreno dusts off his waistcoat on Saturday afternoon when he teams up with the Firenze String Ensemble — some of whom also play in his show band — for a 2 p.m. concert at the Winchester Cultural Center. ...

It’s a narrow little cinematic niche of Magic-themed Movies with a David Copperfield Connection. But in that niche, “Now You See Me” is performing much better than the recent comedy “Burt Wonderstone.”

Copperfield received an “inspired by” credit for the heist thriller that took in $28 million against a $75 million budget last weekend, surprising industry experts who expected it to fall well behind Will Smith’s “After Earth” instead of doing slightly better (both movies lagged behind the latest “Fast & Furious”).

Combined with “The Hangover Part III,” it’s a lot of screen time for Las Vegas, even if the Las Vegas performance scenes for “See Me” were filmed in New Orleans.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.