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Givens Performing Arts Center is a mainstay in quality entertainment bringing international acts as well as regional and local talent to the stage. While GPAC has a strong connection to Fayetteville, that bond just got stronger.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in conjunction with the Visual Arts Alliance, GPAC is proud to sponsor the latest Gallery 208 exhibit, Bras for the Cause: Artful Bras. The exhibit is free and open to the public at 208 Rowan Street. The exhibit speaks to the fierce and tenacious spirit of women who combat breast cancer every day. It celebrates the triumphs of those who fought and won, while honoring the struggle of those who did not.

The timing of the Bras for the Cause exhibit dovetails perfectly with the timing of the next GPAC performance, which celebrates another uniquely feminine quandary: menopause. This particular show includes three breast cancer survivors.  Menopause the Musical is a tribute to womanhood and all the mysterious hormones that come with it. It is on stage at GPAC on Oct. 9. This humorous interpretation of the trying adventure that is menopause is an exciting, musical and hilarious for everyone. 

“It is a party, an absolute party. It is such a fun event. Everyone comes over and over — and that’s fun, too. There are women who come to multiple shows and bring their friends and their daughters. We have multiple generations of women come to the show, it is great to share. Some bring their husbands, unsuspecting men. The last show, not four minutes in, we heard a man guffawing. There is no men bashing, it’s just so charming. And they can appreciate it because they experience it, too. Not to give them credit for going through menopause, rather they go through our menopause,” saidJudy Blue who plays the “Soap Star” in the show. 

This is a musical production. The show features familiar songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, but rewritten as parodies to fit the struggles of menopause. Blue says that everyone has their own favorite symptom. Sharing these symptoms — like hot flashes or uncontrollable crying —however miserable they me be, serves as a bridge between otherwise radically different people both on and off stage. 

“We learn to embrace and start to understand each other. We don’t like each other at first, but not two songs in, we start to understand each other with the symptoms that we share,” Blue explains. 

In addition to candid conversation about menopause, this tour also focuses on how important an honest and supportive discussion about breast cancer is. 

“This Menopause the Musical Tour is the survivor show. The musical is the same, for those who have seen it before, but we have three breast cancer survivors. So part of the proceeds of the show go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” Blue says. 

Two dollars of every ticket sold will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“It was just a natural fit for us, especially with what we have faced in our pasts. I had a lumpectomy and some radiation, and it was small. I am grateful for that. Another woman in the show had massive amounts of chemotherapy and was in it for the long haul. But she came back strong. We are living full lives. We dance around on stage for hours every night! It’s a hope, too. That’s what we want to share. You can get through it and that’s what we are here to represent.” 

Blue encourages women to become educated about preventative measures like a healthy diet and exercise and regular mammograms. There is no telling what life may throw at you. But the women of Menopause the Musical take on the challenges of life with passion, hope, understanding and sisterhood. She says that she feels most rewarded when she can share that hopefulness with the audience.

“We meet people afterwards that say that this is the most they have laughed in months and they go out after the show and keep that upbeat I can conquer anything mood going,” she said.

Menopause the Musical is on stage at the Givens Performing Arts Center on Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. The Givens Performing Arts Center is located at 1 University Dr. in Pembroke. To purchase tickets. call (910) 521-6361 or visit tickets.com. For more information visit www.uncp.edu/giving/advancement/givens-performing-arts-center. 


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