News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Alabama native returns to South with 'roller coaster' of a show

By Patrice Stewart 340-2446

Judith Day is coming home to Alabama with her role in "Menopause the Musical."

The Birmingham native started dancing at age 3 and knew early on she wanted to focus on theater. That was her major at The University of North Alabama, where she met her husband. He is from Muscle Shoals, and they lived in the Quad Cities for a while. Now they make Chicago their home base.

"I was originally in the Chicago cast of 'Menopause the Musical' for five years, and I've been around ever since. It's such fun," Day said.

Sometimes she hits the road with one of the many touring companies. She knows three of the four roles in the musical and recently performed in Tampa, St. Paul, Minn., and Albany, N.Y., where the show sold out all 12 weeks.

"It's a very audience-driven piece, very energetic," Day said. "I compare it to a roller-coaster ride — you get on and you just go. It deals with subject matter in a way that you can talk about it and laugh about it."

For this Huntsville production, Day, 39, will play the role of the soap opera star. The other women play a professional woman, an Iowa housewife and an "earth mother" type.

"The parodies are really quite funny," Day said.

"They take great music that is easily recognizable and change the words. The disco section is fun," she said, and there's music by the BeeGees, Aretha Franklin and many others.

Songs include "Change, Change, Change" and "Don't Say Nothin' Bad about My Body."

Day said while attending UNA, she never thought she would be in musical theater.

"That's funny to me, because my focus was on straight theater. I could carry a tune, but I had to get more training in technique and take classical voice," she said.

Meanwhile, she was familiar with the subject.

"I personally have been having hot flashes for 10 years, since long before I joined the cast," said Day.

All ages will enjoy the show, she said. She's hoping her husband's grandmother, who is in her 90s, will get to see it.

"This show is a real celebration for women, and that's the key," Day said. "They bring their men, husbands and boyfriends, who enjoy it and find it educational, but in a fun way. They go, 'Oh, other people are going through that, too?' "

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