Poise Launches Comedy Tour -- About Menopause

Hot-Flash Road Show Features Cloris Leachman, Sherri Shepherd

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How funny can menopause be? Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Poise and live audiences in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles are about to find out.

The "Hot Flash Road Show" opens off Broadway on Sept. 21 at the Florence Gould Hall Theater, featuring improv routines, skits and more from Cloris Leachman and "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd, among others. The show, executive produced by Mindshare Entertainment President David Lang, will play to a live audience of 300, with a simulcast to movie theaters in Toronto. The tour makes its second stop in Los Angeles Oct. 5, and will then be distributed in edited form via online video.

It's all for the cause of backing a Poise line of personal lubricants, cooling gels, wipes and other hygiene products for menopausal women.

And so standup comedy was a natural fit.

The idea, actually, is to foster the brand's "Second Talk" marketing premise: While girls always get the "first talk" about menstruation, "no one really talks about menopause, and it's a huge change," said Rebecca Dunphey, Poise's brand director.

Harris surveys indicated women both want to talk about menopause and often use humor to cope with it, she said. Visits by 450,000 women to Poise's "Second Talk" microsite since July help prove they're ready to talk, too, she said. And Poise has a waiting list for the New York show, though tickets to the L.A. performance are still available.

The success of Poise and MindShare Entertainment's work more than two years ago with Whoopi Goldberg for "light bladder leakage" products helped prove that "When you have a taboo topic, one of the best ways to approach it is with comedy and through the sense that it's universal ," Mr. Lang said. Maybe that wasn't true decades ago, he said, but "the world has changed."

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