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The Full Monty

a Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by Terrence McNally (book), David Yazbek (songs)

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Jennie T. Anderson Theatre-Cobb Civic Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4853

SHOWING : February 12, 2016 - February 28, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Based on the cult-hit film of the same name, "The Full Monty" is filled with honest affection, engaging melodies and the most highly anticipated closing number of any show. While spying on their wives at a ‘Girls’ Night Out,’ a group of unemployed steelworkers from Buffalo see how much they enjoy watching male strippers. Jealous, out of work, and feeling emasculated, the men come up with a bold and unclothed way to make some quick cash. In preparing, they find themselves extremely exposed; not merely physically but emotionally. As they conquer their fears, self-consciousness, and prejudices, the men come to discover they’re stronger as a group, and the strength they find in each other gives them the individual courage to “let it go.” "The Full Monty" is a story full of heart! Right to the end, audiences will be wondering if these lovable misfits will really pull it off!


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Alan Kilpatrick
Musical Director Paul A. Tate
Nathan Matt Alea
Joanie Kandice Arrington
Estelle Alison Brannon
Dave Nick Caruso
Police Sergeant/Ensemble Fenner Eaddy
Jerry Jeff Juday
Georgie Jamie Wood Katz
Reno/Ensemble Andrew Klopach
Harold Matt Lewis
Molly/Ensemble Barbara Macko
Pam Lisa Manuli
Susan Jessica Miesel
Vicki Marcie Millard
Noah the "Horse" Eric D. Moore
Reg/Teddy/Tony/Ensemble Matthew Sidney Morris
Malcolm J. Koby Parker
Jeannette Jackie Prucha
Ethan Haden Rider
Marty/Ensemble Adam Sechelski
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REVIEWS

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Is the Monty Half-Full or Half-Empty?
by playgoer
Monday, February 15, 2016
3.5
In Atlanta Lyric’s production, "The Full Monty" feels like a slick Broadway product that has been brought to the boards with no passion and little spirit, expecting the score and book to carry the show. The whole thing has a hollow, shallow feel.

The main problem, to my mind, was that I didn’t care for, and consequently did not care about Jeff Juday in the lead role of Jerry Lukowski. A secondary problem, one perhaps not widely shared, was that I found the loud, pounding pre-show and intermission music an unpleasant assault on the ears. Mark Smith’s sound design also tends to let the orchestra overpower the voices.

Kelly Tighe’s scenic design has an industrial, geometric feel that seems generally appropriate for the setting of layoff-plagued Buffalo, New York. André C. Allen’s lighting design tends to be murky, with an over-dependence on spotlights for the musical numbers. The two design elements appear to be at odds with one another, with the lighting trying for a gritty feel that the scenic elements don’t really have. Scene changes are neatly accomplished, but a segment near the end that plays a backstage scene directly in front of the dimly lit performance stage doesn’t fit in with the attempted scenic realism of all the scenes that have preceded it.

At least at the performance I attended, there was a lot of roughness in a number of voices. Music director Paul Tate hasn’t inspired uniformly excellent vocal performances. Director Alan Kilpatrick hasn’t inspired deeply felt performances either. There’s not a lot of nuance in them. It seems to be all text and little sub-text.

Amanda Edgerton West’s costumes and George Deavours’ wigs do their job. Given that they’re for characters in economically depressed Buffalo, it may be understandable that they don’t impress. The show is just "okay" in most categories. That includes Karen Hebert’s choreography. Given that it’s primarily for men who are not supposed to be dancers, a lack of overall grace is to be expected. In the introduction of Harold and Vicki Nichols (Matt Lewis and Marcie Millard), though, the men look at a group of dancing couples and note "he’s good." It’s only the subsequent action and a subsequent spotlight that make it clear that they’re talking about Harold. It’s a choreographic slip-up to let the background dancers outshine the principals.

Especially nice performances come from Nick Caruso, as the overweight Dave Bukatinsky, and J. Koby Parker as Malcolm MacGregor. Mr. Parker in particular puts an extra bit of energy into his performance. In combination with his glorious voice, that makes him a standout in the cast. Nobody’s downright bad, but most blend in with the lackluster feel of the entire production. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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