TAKING IT ALL OFF
Desperate times call for desperate measures. And no is more desperate than unemployed factory workers in 1980’s Buffalo in the musical The Full Monty, the current production at McKeesport Little Theatre.
These down-on-their-luck fellows turn to stripping!
Up front, I give the men in the cast a great deal of credit. I don’t even undress to take a shower, let alone strut my stuff on stage.
This production has good points…and not-so-good points.
There are some very strong voices as well as some very funny moments.
Unfortunately, Director Edward E. Bostedo, Jr. has failed to get the full potential from his cast.
While Bryan D. Padgett (as Jerry) and Timothy Doughtery (as his best pal Dave) have some laugh-out-loud moments, their deep friendship is never fully felt by the audience. Likewise when Padgett has book scenes with his young son (played by Matthew Fedorek), you get the feeling they are just “marking time” to get through these lines so everyone can get back to singing or dancing or being funny again.
If audiences don’t buy these two crucial relationships, the heart goes out of The Full Monty.
It doesn’t help the cast that the blocking and stage pictures are weak.
Bostedo has also designed the set, which consists of what looks like Japanese screens. It gives The Full Monty a peculiar “kabuki” look. The screen panels are actually doors that open. They could have been used effectively; however, they are not.
Choreographer Heather Yaksic Atkinson has created some very clever dance numbers, and the men perform them to the best of their ability.
Lamont Freeland nearly steals the show as “Horse” with his funny one-liners and the amusing song “Big Black Man.” Anna Colecchi gets in some good wisecracks as “Jeanette,” the piano player.
Ryan Baker and Nathan Hough (as “Malcolm” and “Nathan” respectively) bring a great deal of charm to the production.
Act One moves along at a good pace. Act Two tends to slow the production down.
Hats off to McKeesport Little Theatre for having the courage to attempt The Full Monty. And it is a fun evening in the theatre. With this talented cast, it had the potential to be so much more.
The Full Monty runs through May 20.