A Very Happy Ending at ‘The Full Monty’ (Solares Hill)

A Very Happy Ending at ‘The Full Monty’ (Solares Hill)

Posted Sun, Feb 28, 2010 in Reviews

They sing, they dance, they do both without pants in “The Full Monty” at the Waterfront Playhouse.

The economic drought is affecting everyone. But just because a group of New York men are out of jobs does not mean that they’re out of luck. To make some cash and save their families, a union of unemployed fellows put together a strip-tease performance in which they dare to bare it all for one crazy night as Chippendale-type dancers.

Although they’re admittedly bald, overweight and have blemishes on their behinds, they work their way from flannel shirts and awkward moves to sequined thongs and pelvic thrusts.

The five-piece band rocks and the 20-person cast rolls with the punches — and the cat calls, the whistles and the squeals of delight that poured forth from the sold-out crowd on opening night.

A crowd favorite for obvious reasons is the feeble yet nimble Noah “Horse” Simmons, played by Kennedy Pugh in his debut performance at the Waterfront. He goes from hobbling and wobbling to bumping and grinding while belting out one of the more memorable songs of the evening. You can’t help but love how he works on his moves, his tongue jutting out of his mouth in complete concentration.

The small yet mighty Marc Crow, no stranger to the Key West stage, delivers hilarious lines with a straight face and can carry a tune with angelic grace.

You could feel the crowd holding back its urge to applaud simply at the sight of favorite Robin Deck. She plays Jeanette, the loud, proud, outspoken pianist and backbone of this crew of men who dub themselves Hot Metal.

With a larger-than-life voice and energy for miles, Traci Reynolds does an excellent job as the emcee and wife of Dave, played by David Black whose performance, too, is highly commendable for the way he learns how to strut his stuff despite a beer gut.

The other Monty men include Joe McMurray and Eric Cole, both equally exciting and earning lots of laughs with their lines.

Jerry is the macho leader of the group, portrayed by Michael McCabe who has no trouble convincing everyone that stripping is a good idea. Spoiled wife Vicki Nichols is played by Laurie Breakwell, who dominates the stage whenever she sings, smiles or simply stands there. Mary Falconer, Nulita Loder, Johanna Hardardottir and Amy Pesola also shine.

I must admit that some of the actors screamed their way through a few out-of tune-songs, yet the whole group gave it their all and the whole audience had a ball.

The choreography by Penny Leto is fantastic. Danny Weathers has directed the risqué play in a way that ladies and gentlemen can both appreciate.

Bottom line — the actors delivered crass with class.” The Full Monty” (nominated for 10 Tony Awards ) plays at Waterfront Playhouse through March 19, with an 8 p.m. curtain call.



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