I've been doing a lot of searching on this subject and all i find are posts from people writing programs and wanting to do this.
basically, i have modified my windows xp theme to have darker colors for all the menus including start bar and background frames. however there is one piece that seems to elude my efforts to change it.
the menu bar. here is a screenshot of the offending item with a red circle around it.
it doesn't make any sense to me that the menu bar remains the default color while the menus that drop down from it can be modified.