menopause3Friday, August 26, I was invited by a couple of old high school girlfriends to the Circa 21 theatre in the District of Rock Island, IL to see the musical, “Menopause.” I was very excited to see this since I am coming of age, so to speak. And especially since I was to be seeing it with two girls I have known for 30 years. This would promise to be a life-changing performance for myself and every other woman in attendance.

Before I go any further, let me say that this theatre is the most beautiful building I have ever had the pleasure of viewing in our Quad-Cities. The grand state of the architecture, with evenly placed lighted seating and statues of Native Americans jutting out boldly above the stage, pulls one into the past and brings about a magnificent feeling of appreciation for the theatre. The players of the Circa ‘21 Playhouse are hardworking and phenomenally talented. The shows might seem expensive, but they come with a delicious dinner, excellent service, and shows that stop you in your tracks every time. Every citizen and visitor should experience this place. It creates a memory that imprints in your mind and lasts a lifetime.

The last time I saw a show here, I was just a kid. I was on a girl scout trip and we saw “Annie.” I knew at that moment that I was born to be on stage. Although life did not pan out that way for me, I ended up studying the theatre actively and volunteering my learned skills in different areas during my undergrad years. Needless to say, that child with a dream has grown into a woman with a lot of harsh realities. This show brought me to my figurative knees with the need to accept my age at last and also to be proud of it.

menopause4Menopause is more than just one “change of life” and this play nailed it. As a 40-year-old woman, I have my issues. This play shed light on a great many of them. A few things were common occurrences throughout the play. The four AMAZINGLY TALENTED ladies were having hot flashes all over the place. Also, making it to the bathroom in time was a repeated incident. The thing I noticed right away was the constant returns to the “mirror” for the girls. They spent so much time fixing their makeup and looking at themselves, seeking approval of their own self-images. I felt close to them as I glanced away from the stage and and looked down at my own body, following with a sweeping gaze upon this crowd of over 200 women, and a few men, who were laughing uncontrollably at this amazing piece of work.  We all seemed as one in that moment. And we left more confident as mature women and ready for a future with our “New Attitude.”

Circa 21 has tons of amazing shows coming up that will blow your mind! For more information, visit www.Circa21.com.


“Menopause: The Musical”
Circa ’21, 1828 3RD Ave., Rock Island
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturdays evenings at 7:45 p.m., Sundays at 5:45 p.m., and Wednesday matinées at 1:30 p.m.
Ticket prices are $50.16 for the evening dinner-and-show productions and $44.41 for the plated-lunch matinées.
For reservations, call (309)786-7733 ext. 2 or go to www.circa21.com.

Amanda Jo Payne read her first novel by age 5 and began writing plays and poetry at age 11, when she received her first typewriter from her mother. A love for putting words together pushed her into higher education and she obtained her Board of Trustees BA from Western Illinois University in 2008. As a mother of three and a grandmother of four, she spends most of her time reading and taking care of her family.