Talk about method acting; this actor really feels it

Published June 18, 2007

Every actor should get into character, but Pammie O'Bannon takes it to the next level in the current production of Menopause The Musical at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

O'Bannon, 55, is actually enduring menopause while she performs in the show. Hot flashes and sleep troubles don't keep her from making the audience cackle at her Earth Mother character.

"Occasionally, we'll hear someone say, 'I'm having such a hard time, I can't imagine it being a musical,' " said O'Bannon, who has been with the musical since it originated in March 2001.

"But I think we revert back to the saying, 'Laughter is the best medicine.' "

Menopause The Musical runs through July 29.

So if the Rays had played at home on Father's Day, would they have given away Elijah Dukes bobblehead dolls? After all, the troubled outfielder has five kids from four different women. And did we mention there may be a sixth child from a fifth girlfriend?

On second thought, maybe the first 5,000 male fans could get gift certificates for a free vasectomy. Make that the first 4, 999. ...

Kudos to New Port Richey's Longleaf Elementary show chorus. The students joined 1,300 other students in singing the national anthem at a Flag Day event at the foot of the Washington Monument.

Even more impressive is they know all the words to The Star Spangled Banner. According to the National Anthem project, that's something two out of three Americans can't claim. ...

It's probably wrong to joke about Dukes, but I'm just laughing to keep from crying.

That's all I'm saying.