The Full Monty

With the economy listless and layoffs growing, one might consider taking a cue from the unemployed steel workers in Buffalo, New York, that populate the stage version of the British hit film, The Full Monty. Fed up with being on the dole, falling further into debt, and watching their spouses and girl friends get in a lather over the Chippendales, the local boys decide to put on a strip show of their own to raise money and their self-esteem. There's only one catch: since most of them are out of shape, the only way they can sell tickets is to promise they'll do "the full monty," that is, go the Chippendales one further and toss their g-strings.

In the current Denver Center Attractions presentation, Director Jack O'Brien, playwright Terrence McNally, composer David Yazbek, and choreographer Jerry Mitchell have done an admirable job taking the cinematic story and adapting it to the stage—no mean feat considering how rarely this type of thing works. The pop songs are exuberant and emotionally revealing, the choreography appropriately sexy and funny, and the characters endearing. The emotional arc of a bunch of modest, esteem-challenged men coming to grips with their dire situations, and what they must do to extricate themselves, is both touching and comedic. The ensemble of lusty women, an invention of the adaptation, adds immeasurably to the fun.

The Full Monty runs through November 3rd. 303-893-4100.

Bob Bows


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