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Center for A&I stages ‘Menopause’ in concert

Jeanie Linders, in yellow top, poses with the cast of 'Menopause: The Musical in Concert' Jeanie Linders, in yellow top, poses with the cast of 'Menopause: The Musical in Concert'

On Monday afternoon, women in the cast of “Menopause: The Musical” received a tasty treat. The edible arrangement came from an admirer of the show who send the fruit every time the show opens in a new city.

“The show has really struck a chord for people around the world and that’s what’s been really exciting about it,” said Jeanie Linders, the show’s creator. Linders relocated to Hendersonville and is founder and managing artistic director of the Center for Art & Inspiration, in the former Flat Rock Playhouse performance space on South Main Street.
Linders has been putting on shows, organizing theater and art classes and installing a coffee shop and kiosk bookstore. Staging “Menopause” in concert reunites her with the triumph of her career. The show has been staged around the world and seen by millions.
Set in a department store, “Menopause” stars four women lamenting or cracking wise about “hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, wrinkles, not enough sex, too much sex, chocolate binges and a whole lot more” while belting out a song list that reads like the soundtrack of the Baby Boomer generation: “Chain of Fools,” “I Heard it through the Grapevine,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “The Lion Sleeps at Night,” “Heat Wave,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” “The Great Pretender,” “California Girls,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “Lookin’ for Love,” “I got You Babe,” “Good Vibrations,” “YMCA” and more.
The Menopause show sounds like the original, Linders says, though it’s not as big a production as the full-scale musical.
“It’s the whole show but it’s in concert,” she says. “It’s all the songs, it’s all the gags, it’s all the bits, it’s all the pops but it’s not the big staging. It’s easier to bring it in and out. It’s the same voices and the same direction. It’s just staged in concert.”
A former advertising agency president, Linders served as an arts development consultant in Florida, California, North Carolina and Arkansas. She developed Orlando’s first arts complex and incubator housing 125 visual artists and 30 performing arts groups, worked as advance PR roadie for Michael Jackson’s film crew for the Victory Tour and developed. In Montego Bay, Jamaica, she taught high school.
Linders says the Hendersonville venture overall has been rewarding.
“Tickets have been really good,” she says. “Now that we’ve been here a few months, people are seeing the quality and the kind of work we’re putting on stage and the different classes. We sold out John Denver.”
The center has booked a touring comedy show called “The One-Man Star Wars” Oct. 12-14, and will host a Blues Cheese Festival, “a big cheese taste-a-thon as well as blues music with Mac Arnold.” It just got an ABC permit and is opening a beer and wine bar this week.
“We’re ready getting to announce MAD, which is the Main Street Arts District,” she says. In a partnership with the Arts Council of Henderson County, the center is hosting an Art and Architecture Day on Saturday, Oct. 19, including guided walking tours of downtown Hendersonville and the West Side Historic District, catered lunch and a short slide show of residential architecture. Tickets are $50. For information click here.

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“Menopause: The Musical in Concert" will be performed 2 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Center for Art & Inspiration, 125 S. Main St. For tickets call 828-697-8547 or click here.