Steelworkers turned strippers take the stage
BEAVER CREEK – You can leave your hat on, but the cast of the humorous and heartfelt “Full Monty” theatre production won’t be doing the same. The six lovable mill workers that thousands of fans grew to love in the popular film of the same name will act, dance, sing and strip their way across the Vilar Center stage in Beaver Creek Monday night at 7:30. “This is not your typical musical,” says Jason Nettle, the actor who plays Ethan Girard, a blue-collar worker who dreams of being a dancer and singer – but has no talents as such. “It’s not the usual guy falls for girl, girl leaves story. This is more of a play with music in it.”
Live music is played by a nine-piece band in the pit, added Nettle, complete with a bass guitar and drums. David Yazbek, a Broadway newcomer with a background in pop singing and songwriting, created the music and the lyrics.The play’s additional running time and expanded script, penned by Terrence McNally, allow the audience to learn more about the lives and trials of the six central “average Joe” characters as they deal with the challenges of unemployment and its effect on their machismo. “The story provides an introspective look at what guys go through and what they are expected to live up to in the world,” said Nettle. “It knocks down stereotypical barriers by showing these men from different backgrounds uniting for the same purpose. In the end, the audience will find themselves rooting for these guys.”
For those new to the Full Monty premise, think steelworkers turned strippers. When a group of unemployed men in Buffalo, N.Y., (a subtle change from the movie to help Americanize the story) learn how much their wives enjoy watching male strippers during their “girls night out,” an idea is born. They too, they decide, could become strippers and earn some quick cash. What they actually end up earning is a new appreciation for one another. They help each other work through feelings of self-consciousness and worthlessness by facing their anxieties about everything from being overweight to child custody to bigotry to being gay. The resounding themes of the story, taking charge of one’s life and following your dreams, are things we can all relate to. Nettle credits the story’s international popularity to the universality of the issues represented.
“People can identify with these characters. They are very real,” he said.The women’s roles on stage are deeper and more complex as well. The roles are reversed here with the females exploring what it’s like to judge others as they so often are, in a comically poignant song and dance. Their candid revelations and interactions help the audience gain affection for the men and add a new dimension to the story. A story most critics agree, does indeed deliver the “full monty.” As for the steely strippers and the question of whether or not they reveal the full monty too, “you’ll just have to wait and see,” said Nettle. To buy tickets, call 845-TIXS (8497) or go to vilarcenter.org.Vail Colorado