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Capsule Reviews 

Dennis Brown and Deanna Jent suss out local theater

Menopause The Musical Who knew hormone shifts could be so much fun? An energetic cast of four women "of a certain age" sing and dance their way through parodies of popular '60s and '70s songs whose rewritten lyrics tackle with night sweats, memory loss and mood swings. Laura Ackerman has great comic timing in her rendition of "Puff the Magic Dragon," while Rosemary Watts has almost too much fun with her ode to sex toys ("You Are My Destiny"). Rochelle Walker does a great Tina Turner impersonation, and Lee Anne Mathews sings a sultry "Tropical Hot Flash." Designed to amuse and empower women who have "gone through the passage," the show ends with the audience joining the cast for a raucous kick-line celebration. Open-ended run at the Playhouse at West Port Plaza, 635 West Port Plaza (second level), Page Avenue and I-270, Maryland Heights. Tickets are $44.50. Call 314-469-7529 or visit www.playhouseatwestport.com.
— Deanna Jent

The Musical of Musicals — The Musical The Rep celebrates the holiday season with a gift of musical Trivial Pursuit: a show that tells the same simple story in the styles of five famous Broadway composers. Filled with puns that can be appreciated by all and inside jokes that will only be understood by connoisseurs, the breezy Musical captures the quintessential features of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander & Ebb. The simple production elements allow the complex lyrics to take center stage, allowing the audience to appreciate the layers of embedded references. Directed and choreographed by Pamela Hunt, and featuring four versatile performers: Matt Bailey, Joanne Bogart, Edwin Cahill and Kristin Maloney. Through December 29 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves. Tickets are $14 to $63. (rush seats available for students and seniors, $8 and $10, respectively, 30 minutes before showtime). Call 314-968-4925 or visit www.repstl.org.
(DJ)

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