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Strip favorite ‘Menopause’ wields the clippers for charity

Updated March 17, 2023 - 2:03 pm

It had to happen at Harrah’s, which rhymes with “Hair-Was,” which is how we stand today.

Bald once more, we shaved it down with the “Menopause The Musical” cast Wednesday night at Harrah’s Cabaret.

The event preceded that night’s performance. It was also the opening act, of sorts, for Saturday’s shave-a-thon at the plaza on New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, just outside Nine Fine Irishmen. That event kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs through about 6 p.m.

St. Baldrick’s is the nationwide campaign to battle childhood cancer. The Las Vegas campaign was launched by Brian and Lynn McMullan of McMullan’s Irish Pub in 2007. The couple joined the national effort to honor their daughter, Kyra, who died of brain cancer in 1997. She was 2½ years old.

Wednesday’s shave was performed by “Menopause” cast members Vita Corimbi-Drew (cast as Earth Mother in the show), Lisa Mack (Professional Woman), Jacquelyn Holland-Wright (Soap Star) and Lori Legacy (Iowa Housewife); along with Cherity Harchis, who swings all the roles. Professional hair stylist and entertainer Tony Torres, whom we’ve most recently seen in “Legendary Divas” at the Trop, performed the “clean-up” work.

Despite jokes to the contrary, “Menopause” is no hot flash. This show has run for 16 years, in a town where shows often flame out in a month. It is easily the longest-running musical ever on the Strip. The show opened at Shimmer Cabaret at Las Vegas Hilton (Westgate, today) in February 2006, moving to Luxor’s Atrium Showroom in February 2009, and to Harrah’s in February 2015.

“Menopause” is also the city’s only Actors’ Equity production in Vegas.

Corimbi-Drew, an original cast member, said in July 2021 as the show returned to the stage after the pandemic shutdown, “The longevity factor is because it is funny, and it’s relatable. All of the songs are recognizable — the Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin. It is the sound track of people’s lives. People immediately hum along.”

“California Girls” “Good Vibrations” and “Help Me Rhonda” are the Beach Boys songs parodied in the show. A cover of “Chain of Fools” from Franklin is in the set list. “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “I Got You Babe,” “Stayin’ Alive” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It” are all performed, live from the stage. The songs are mixed satirically. “My Guy” is “My Thighs.” “I’m havin’ a hot flash,” is the swapped-out lyric in “Heat Wave.”

Wednesday night, I had a walk-on role as a chef (this was the second time this year I’ve dressed as a chef in a Strip show, along with my appearance in the since-closed “Bat Out of Hell” at Paris Theater). No spoiler, but I carried a big menu.

“Menopause” performs 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, with an additional 4 p.m. matinee Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Go to caesars.com/shows or menopausethemusical.com for info. As we say, it’s a show for the ages.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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