The Full Monty
Book by Terrence McNally
Music and lyrics by David Yazbek
July 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 August 3, 4.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, The Full Monty is defined as “the most or best that you can have, do, get or achieve; or all that you want or need.”
What, nothing about average, unemployed guys stripping to earn some much-needed cash? OK, yeah, that is indeed the plot of the musical The Full Monty, opening Friday, July 13, at the Weekend Theater, Seventh and Chester streets in downtown Little Rock. But aside from baring their bodies, these guys also, to their surprise, rediscover the self-esteem they thought they’d lost forever.
The show, with book by Terrence McNally, music and lyrics by David Yazbek, runs through Aug. 4, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, except for the Friday, July 27 performance, which will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $16 for students and seniors age 65 and older.
Make reservations at the theater’s Web site, www.weekendtheater.org; tickets are also available at the door on the day of performance. For more information, call (501) 374-3761.
Director Bob Bidewell was drawn to the show’s issues about economic hardship – so relevant today, for sure – and themes about class distinctions. And besides all that, it’s great entertainment, full of touching, dramatic, and flat-out funny music.
“It’s hilarious and there are also the touching moments that a musical needs,” Bidewell says.
Based on the hit 1997 British film, the musical shifts the action to Buffalo, N.Y., but keeps the basic plot intact.
Seeing how much their wives and other women in town enjoy watching male strippers on a “girl’s night out,” some unemployed steelworkers decide to put together their own revue to raise some quick cash. But they add an extra twist to drum up interest: they’ll be taking it all off – yep, every stitch.
Best friends Jerry Lukowski (Douglas Hammon) and Dave Bukatinski (Frank O. Butler) dream up the idea, and are soon joined by Malcolm MacGregor (Jacob Sturgeon), Ethan Girard (Justin Pike) and Noah (Horse) T. Simmons (Jeremiah Herman). Jerry and Dave also convince their former foreman, Harold Nichols (Terry Harrison), to join them; he and his wife have been taking ballroom dancing lessons so he can teach them some moves.
As the guys work through their fears, self-consciousness and feelings of worthlessness and anxiety – over being overweight, child custody problems, bigotry, being gay – they find strength in their developing friendship and the courage to face those problems.
“I have a feeling that every one of us has wanted something so badly that we would do anything to achieve or earn it – love, acceptance, friendship, self-esteem. You will find yourself in one of the characters of this musical,” Bidewell says.
Also in the cast are Amanda Garrison as Pam Lukowski, Jerry’s ex-wife; Jackson Tucker as Nathan Lukowski, Jerry’s son; Sarah Scott Blakey as Georgie Bukatinski, Dave’s wife; Allison Pace as Vicki Nichols, Harold’s wife; Lana Hallmark as Jeanette A. Burmeister, a down-to-earth showbiz veteran who plays piano for the guys’ rehearsals; and David Monteith as Teddy Slaughter, Drew Ellis as Buddy (Keno) Walsh, Hannah Blackburn Parish as Estelle Genovese, Gilda V. Murdock as Susan Hershey, Danette Scott Perry as Joanie Lish, Roben Sullivant as Dolores, Tony Spicer as Reg Willoughby, Trevor Arnett as Tony Giordano, and ByRon Taylor as a minister.
There is great heart in The Full Monty, as well as great lessons for all of us.
“Our hope is that you will come to understand that sometimes you truly have to “let it go” to get what you desire,” says Bidewell. “And, just maybe, you might learn something about your fellow human beings while on the journey.”
On Fridays and Saturdays, curtain times are at 7:30 p.m.
For special Sunday showings (Musicals only) curtain times are at 2:30 p.m.
The Box Office opens 1 hour prior to curtain.
The House opens 30 minutes prior to curtain.