The Full Monty
Book & Lyrics by Terrence McNally
Music & Lyrics by David Yazbek
Directed by Anne Allan
Choreographed by Mike Jackson
Musical direction by Donald Fraser
Performed by Matthew Campbell, Eugene Clark, Gabriel Antonacci, Greg Barry, Jordan Bell, Rick Hughes et al.
Charlottetown Festival, Confederation Centre, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
June 15 to September 2, 2011
Reviewed by Mary Alderson
Music, Comedy and Male Striptease
What does a guy do when he’s unemployed, has no money, and his ex-wife threatens to cut him off from his son because he’s behind in support payments? Well, in this case he gets together with his unemployed friends, and puts together a group of male dancers to rival Chippendales.
The Full Monty is live on stage at the Charlottetown Festival, with most of cast doing double duty in Anne of Green Gables. Like the popular 1997 movie, this group of down and out unemployed men are upset when their working wives can afford to go out for an evening and see a male striptease show when it comes to town. Jerry needs money fast to pay child support so he decides to get his buddies on board as male strippers and sell admission tickets. A problem arises when the group is promoted as being better than the Chippendales because they will go all the way – The Full Monty – which the Chippendale pros won’t. This without the usual male stripper physiques and a complete lack of dance moves. And therein lies the comedy.
The show and the movie have the same plot and premise, and even all the same key characters. The difference comes with the addition of music with amusing lyrics.
Another difference is the change in locales. The movie is set in England, but the Charlottetown show is set in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The audience loved the local references – in particular, there was a roar of laughter when the professional stripper said he was leaving the business to do weather with Boomer on the Charlottetown TV station!
The six stripper-wannabes are all good in their roles: Matthew Campbell as Jerry, Gabriel Antonacci as Ethan, Eugene Clark as Horse, Greg Barry as Dave, Jordan Bell as Malcolm, and Rick Hughes as Harold. Marlane O’Brien as their piano player, Jeannette, nearly steals the show with her hilarious, jaded view of show businesses. Kristen Peace is excellent at Georgie, who is trying to make her marriage work. Lindsay Frazier plays Jerry’s ex-wife well, demanding child support money, but showing a human side at the same time.
A large crowd of Red Hat Ladies were in the audience on the night we attended, and they were loving every minute of it. Actually, following Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Charlottetown, they should now be called the Red Fascinators! So if you are planning a visit to Prince Edward Island, get the girls together for a night of Full Monty.
The Full Monty continues at the Charlottetown Festival, Confederation Centre, Charlottetown until August 31. For tickets, call the box office at 1-800-565-0278 or check http://www.charlottetownfestival.com/en/.