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Six financially strapped steelworkers-turned-male strippers from Buffalo, New York will bare all in the Americanized musical version of The Full Monty, which will play Page Auditorium April 19th as part of the Broadway at Duke series. This cheeky R-rated musical comedy, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Terrence McNally, is based on the 1997 British motion picture about six desperate out-of-work husbands in Sheffield, England, once known as the “City of Steel.”
This marvelous musical version of The Full Monty had its world premiere on June 1, 2000 at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, CA; The Full Monty debuted on Broadway on Oct. 26, 2000 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre; and it made its West End premiere on March 20, 2002 at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London.
The movie won the 1998 Academy Award® for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score (Anne Dudley) and was nominated for the Oscars for Best Picture (producer Uberto Pasolini), Best Director Oscar (Peter Cattaneo), and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Simon Beaufoy). The Broadway musical, which ran for 770 Performances before it closed on Sept. 1, 2002, received ten 2001 Tony Award® nominations, including nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell), and Best Direction of a Musical (Jack O’Brien), but took home no Tonys.
The current North American Tour of The Full Monty, produced by NETworks Presentations LLC et al., directed by Madeleine Loftin, and choreographed by Denis Jones, features musical direction by Stephen Purdy, who doubles as the show’s conductor; set design by John Arnone; lighting design by Mark T. Simpson; costume design by Robert Morgan; hair/wig/makeup design by Bernie Ardia; and sound design by Shannon Slaton.
The tour stars William Alvarez as Reg Willoughby, Joe Coots as Dave Bukatinsky, Happy McPartlin as Georgie Bukatinsky, Cannon Starnes as Buddy “Keno” Walsh, Jeremiah Zinger as Jerry Lukowski, Steve DeBruyne as Malcolm MacGregor, Jason Nettle as Ethan Girard, and Maria Vassallo as Susan Hershey.
According to reviews of previous productions, The Full Monty is “terrific from start to finish” (Steven Oxman, Daily Variety); a “slam-dunk musical sensation” (Paul Brownfield, Los Angeles Times); a “huge hit — a rock ‘em, sock ‘em, ‘take it off, baby’ good time with heart” (Jim Farber, Daily Breeze); and a “remarkably smart show and a mega crowd pleaser” (Evan Henerson, LA Daily News). Henerson added, “The Full Monty has got the goods and the energy to match. A rousing evening.”
In The Orange County Register, Paul Hodgins wrote, “The combined genius of O’Brien, Yazbek and McNally has created a work that makes us laugh, as often and as lustily as possible.” Jay Reiner of The Hollywood Reporter called the show “One of the most exhilarating musical comedy treats to be seen in years” He also noted, “David Yazbek’s witty songs have an edgy, hip quality. Jerry Mitchell’s dance numbers are fresh and alive with energy and high spirits. And McNally’s book is a comic gem. The show has so many highlights and show stoppers, one loses count.”
In The Boston Globe, Ed Siegel wrote, “This show is fun with toe-tapping, tuneful music and a talented ensemble cast.” Robert Nesti of The Boston Herald added, “Hats off to The Full Monty! Hilariously staged with a terrific score, witty choreography and a first-rate cast.” And Joyce Kulhawik of WBZ-TV in Boston confessed, “I loved The Full Monty and so will you! The show is loaded with great times, likeable, loopy characters and a standout cast!”
Nelson Pressley of The Washington Post wrote, “[The Full Monty] is a solid musical comedy. The songs by Broadway first-timer David Yazbek are full of robust pop-rock hooks and bright, funny lyrics.”
Broadway at Duke presents The Full Monty Tuesday, April 19, at 8 p.m. in Page Auditorium on Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, North Carolina. $35-$45 ($15-$25 Duke students). 919/684-4444 or http://tickets.duke.edu. Broadway at Duke: http://www.duke.edu/web/duu/broadway/shows.html#bad [inactive 11/06]. Internet Broadway Database: http://www.ibdb.com/Show.asp?id=10302. Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119164/. The Tour: http://thefullmonty.com/tour/ [inactive 10/05].