Last night’s Alpine Theater Production showing of the “The Full Monty” was lacking – in clothes that is. But rife with talented actors, big voices and aptly delivered comedic lines, the show left its audience completely satisfied.
The musical is an Americanized adaptation of the 1997 British film of the same name. In the theatre version, six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, low on cash and prospects, decide to strip at a club after seeing how popular a professional strip act was with local women. Unfortunately, they can’t dance and as physical specimens leave a bit to be desired, so to attract an audience the group promises to offer what the professionals won’t – the full monty.
Theatergoers who arrived wondering how much skin they’d really be exposed to didn’t have to ponder for long. Just a few minutes after the opening curtain a toned, young actor was already swinging his tie in the air and strutting across stage in an oh-so-itsy-bitsy thong. There were nervous giggles as the crowd came collectively to a new realization: with just one body part still hidden, the only thing left to wonder was if the show’s moniker really meant, well, the full monty.
It’s a question I think anyone who hasn’t seen The Full Monty, but has heard about it, asks: Do they actually take it all off? It doesn’t matter if the hit musical has great musicians, impressive performances, an outstanding flying set or fantastic choreography (The ATP version has all of these). We just can’t get past the nudity.
But that’s what’s so impressive about this play. Somewhere in between the first striptease and the big finale, the audience forgets – or at least becomes somewhat accustomed to – about what the cast is or isn’t wearing, and just starts having fun.
During that beginning scene, the audience was a bit hesitant, seemingly unsure of their appropriate role in the program. By the end of the show, however, there were catcalls and raucous cheering from randy middle-aged women and men alike. Even the most prudish seemed to be having a good time.
And for those of you who still insist on asking the question, I’m going to keep my mouth shut. You’ll just have to see the peep show yourself, because the production is well-worth your attendance – with or without the actual Full Monty.
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