PANTS DOWN FOR A FULL HOUSE
REVIEW: THE FULL MONTY, 3D THEATRICALS
BY RYAN M. LUÉVANO
Bare asses and flabby bellies hit the big screen in 1997 when the British film, The Full Monty, directed by Peter Cattaneo, starring Robert Carlyle, was released and hailed a critical success with an unexpected international commercial success, grossing over $250 million from a budget of only $3.5 million. This story of six unemployed men who decide to form a male striptease act in order to gather enough money to pay their bills, and the for main character to be able to see his son, spawned a musical of the same name in 2000. The David Yazbeck (music and lyrics) and Terrence McNally musical bares all at Plummer Auditorium this spring to hooting and hollering from the ladies in the audience each night.
3D Theatricals brings us a no–holds–barred presentation of this titillating and heartwarming musical that offers so much more than the anticipation of “the full monty.” Director T.J. Dawson fully immerses the audience in the very first scene as he places lady actors within the audience to hoot and holler while we watch Keno (Justin Berti) strip (à la Chippendale dancers)—we’re immediately transported to a local strip club in Buffalo. The choreography by Leslie Stevens rides a delicate balance of exciting and restrained, her movement shines most in the act two closer “Michael Jordan’s Ball” and the finale “Let It Go”.
For many people, taking off your clothes in front of a mirror is difficult, and for a sold out crowd in a dark auditorium, it’s a nightmare. Bravo to all the male leads who are able to let go of any insecurities and proudly give us everything they’ve got! Justin Berti (Keno) starts the night off with his legitimate striptease routine that leads one to wonder if he has had any real-life stripping experience. Allen Everman (Jerry Lukowski) is a powerful lead, taking us on his journey for self-confidence and self-respect; with stellar vocal moments in “Scrap” and “Breeze Off the River”. This show is all about surprises and Rovin Jay (Noah ‘Horse’ T. Sommons) gives an extraordinary surprise in “Big Black Man.” Not only are Jay’s vocals seet and soulful, but his dance moves are electric and athletic—the best solo dance performance in the show by far.
Another fantastic surprise and audience favorite is Candi Milo as Jeanette Burmeister, the chain-smoking rehearsal pianist for the men. From her first scene, Milo has the audience in stitches—from her raspy voice to her on the nose comedic timing and delivery, she’s gold in every scene and a fine signer in “Jeanette’s Showbiz Number” in act two. Matthew Downs (Dave Bukatinsky) give us an inspiring performance as Dave, the insecure man with the belly that resonates with those of us who have missed a couple of months at the gym yet never missed a meal. Bukatinsky’s performance resonates with anyone, fat, skinny or anything in between.
WHAT ABOUT THE MUSIC DIRECTOR?
Corey Hirsch brings fantastic voices, and high-energy grooves to Yazbeck’s pop and contemporary score. From the stage to the orchestra pit the music here is balanced, crisp and so much fun.
3D Theatricals The Full Monty is exhilarating and touching—a perfect night out for the any adult that will make you think twice about the next time you drop your pants. The Full Mony runs from APRIL 22 – MAY 8, 2016 at Plummer Auditorium, for more information and tickets visit: www.3dtshows.com.