Anyone who knows Rhode Island knows that Rose Weaver is an icon who works in stage, film and television. She sometimes graces the steps of the state house with her powerful singing voice and has numerous awards to match her endless credentials. Now she’s bringing dinner theater to the state with her show Menopause Mama.
An impressive piece of Weaver’s Menopause Mama is the implementation of a paper fan. She explains the origin of the fan, exhibits a tutorial on how to SNAP open a fan, gifts fans to lucky audience members, and explains how a fan is helpful during hot flashes.
This hot-shot writer, singer and creator explains that diabetes and high blood pressure contribute to women’s hot flashes. One cannot help but wonder if her HOT body and roomful of human fans might also contribute to those hot flashes. Weaver points out that a hot flash might be welcome in the 28 degree weather at the Southside Community Culture Center.
The men and women gathered on a Sunday in March to watch Weaver perform were a collection of professional artists and friends, activists, health care professionals and people who heard about the amazing Rose Weaver. She held everyone in that full and beautiful room in the palm of her hand. The audience was believing what Weaver could easily sell: truth, clarity, courage and joy.
“People don’t talk about these things,” says Weaver. But when these topics are discussed in Menopause Mama, people are on the edge of their seats. Additionally, for the audience voyeurs, it is a fantastic sight to see men in the audience listening and learning.
In the post- performance discussion, a gentleman in the audience admits/brags that he learned two very important things from the show. He was empowered by the heightened level of respect that Weaver cultivated during her 90-minute masterpiece. The gentleman explained further that, had he seen Rose Weaver’s show before the event of his daughter’s first… (the audience, prompted by his unabashed resistance to the word, chorally completes his sentence) “menstruation,” he would not have tried so hard to “celebrate with her on the occasion.” Right by his side, his wife cued the audience to chime in, advise, laugh and congratulate. This is the atmosphere that Menopause Mama creates.
Weaver entertains, educates, raps and dances with agility and grace. She expertly weaves (‘cause her name) among a long and varied list of characters. It’s a show for the whole family! In addition, there is a spectacular soundtrack with song credits including Quincy Jones, Barbara Baig, Weaver herself and more.
Readers might recall a 3-month production of Menopause Mama at the former Perishable Theater (now 95 Empire, part of AS220) produced by Jill Jaffe and directed by Bob Jaffe. The current production, produced by Rose Weaver with assistance producer Elizabeth Loo, evolved after Weaver conducted hundreds of interviews while documenting her own experiences with menopause. She was encouraged by Kathy Jellison and formed a group called the Kitchen Kabinet, which served as an advisory board. Rose Weaver graciously credits many people in her program notes, curtain speeches (impeccably delivered by the gorgeous spokes-model Pamela Lambert), audience talk backs, and various television and newspaper interviews. She makes sure to mention that Liz Chace and the late Kim Chace supported the show from its inception.
Menopause Mama offers a standing ovation performance as well as the only available dinner theater opportunity in Providence. Be the first to see its more recent incarnation while savoring each gesture and every morsel that Weaver and Pot au Feu Bistro have to offer. Providence owes a huge thank you to Rose Weaver. She has brought dinner theater back!
From March 22 – March 26, one can enjoy Menopause Mama at Pot au Feu Bistro at 44 Custom House. Tickets can be purchased at potaufeu.businesscatalyst.com. For a deeper connection to the text, visit the Menopause Mama page on Facebook, or the soundtrack at CD Baby: cdbaby.com/cd/roseweaver. Menopause Mama can be booked through the Facebook page.