Aren't you Marla Hooch? 'Menopause' actress still enjoys recognition - The Buffalo News

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Aren't you Marla Hooch? 'Menopause' actress still enjoys recognition

Who could forget the look on Megan Cavanagh’s face as Marla Hooch, the dowdy second-basewoman in “A League of Their Own.”

Hooch wasn’t a looker, to a comical end. Her hunched posture, sullen face and indifference to fashion made for plenty of laughs, but she was a phenomenal ball player with simple, Midwestern values—a team player. Cavanagh’s performance turned Hooch into a cult-favorite among fans. Twenty-five years after the film’s release, fans still approach Cavanagh, who appreciates the appreciation.

“I don’t have a problem with being recognized. It’s very humbling,” said Cavanagh, who is bright, cheerful and lively to speak with, the opposite of Marla Hooch. “I feel so unbelievably blessed to have played this part. I feel loved by so many people I don’t even know. They want hugs. That character touched them.”

Cavanagh’s been busy in the 25 years since the film’s release, touching audiences with another role — that of Earth Mother in the popular touring production of “Menopause: The Musical,” which plays the 710 Main Theatre through Oct. 15.

The musical parodies and honors the highs and lows of menopause with popular hit songs from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, laughs and insight. Cavanagh has been with the show since 2004, and finds great joy in playing another strong female voice.

“It’s amazing to me that it still resonates. There are more and more women coming into menopause every day. This show really brings them to a place that celebrates that your best years are not behind you. You are fabulous the way you are. You can still enjoy and laugh and have a great time,” Cavanagh said.

For her, its continued popularity is both a no-brainer and a thrill. “Making women and a few men laugh so hard that their ribs hurt is the greatest gift an actor can give,” she said. But it’s also an important conversation for women—and men—to have. Fourteen years and a new generation of audiences later,  the show still stands up.

“Menopause wasn’t a topic that was talked about very much, and I think that women are really glad to know they’re not going crazy,” Cavanagh said.  “Menopause is not a bad word. We all have bodies. We all bleed, and we all urinate, and break bones. Our bodies are here for just a limited about of time, and what our bodies go through is being honored with this show. It wasn’t honored in the past, it was shunned, and women are (now) refusing to accept that. We have so many more years to contribute and so much more left in us.”

Menopause The Musical

MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL is coming Oct. 10-15, and cast member Megan Cavanagh ("Hooch" in the film A League of Their Own) is here to tell you how you can save 20% on your tickets using the promo code HOTFLASH20! Get your tickets for this HILARIOUS show today at www.menopausethemusical.com or www.ticketmaster.com!

Posted by Shea's 710 Theatre on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

She sees the show’s message as an important part of that conversation.

“I think that there’s less shock now, because the show has been around for so many years. When we were doing this in 2004, we would go to a city and some people would walk out because it was too shocking—although it’s not at all, but to some people it was.”

The passing of time is not lost on Cavanagh. When asked if she finds any similarities between her iconic film role and her empowering stage role—two women, breaking rules and taking names—she pauses.

“I have not put them together. It’s funny, because ‘League’ was my first movie and I was young. I threw all my own balls. I was really an athlete. Recently, I was watching it at a ballpark—I was making an appearance—and I was looking at the older versions of our characters, who are my age now, and I thought, ‘Oh how sweet, they’re so sweet.’ But I am the older person in the story now.”

She thinks about it again, and with a fresh spring in her voice, responds: “Inside, I’m 25. I can’t believe I’m the same person.”

Theater preview

"Menopause: The Musical"

Through Oct. 15 at Shea's 710 Theatre (710 Main St.). Tickets are $26 to $46 (box office, Ticketmaster and by calling 800-745-3000).

 

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