John Szablewski Reviews

Theatre Review: ‘The Full Monty’ at Subversive Theatre Collective

The cast of “The Full Monty” at Subversive Theatre Collective.

There are those who say that they will do whatever is asked of them, if the price is right. Would stripping for your community be one of those things you’d ever think of doing? Well, if you are on unemployment, perhaps. But what if your insecurities make this new found career path that you are embarking on difficult?

“The Full Monty” will live on as one of Subversive Theatre Collective’s finest. Go see this show!

“The Fully Monty”, written by Terrence McNally, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek, tells the story of six down on their luck, unemployed steel mill workers, from Buffalo, New York, who are all in dyer need for some cash. After it is discovered that their wives have taken interest in a Chippendale’s show that has come to town, the men decide that they have just what it takes to strip, and make some cash, but to one up the professionals, the men decide that they are going to show The Full Monty, or in other words, everything is coming off.

Going into this show, I was afraid for my life. The concept is hysterical, but the intimacy of the Subversive space is one that could make a show that plays well in a big theater, absolutely terrifying if all of the parts are not working in sync. If your lighting person is not paying full attention, the audience may be in for a treat they were not fully expecting, you know, actually full nudity, and this show already leaves little to the imagination.

Director Susan Forbes has assembled a fantastic cast to make this show one of the most hilarious evenings of theatre I have been exposed to in some time. I could not stop laughing at the timing, the artist choices, and the overall comedic chops of the entire cast. This production is definitely a highlight in my season of reviewing.

Leading the cast as Jimmy Lukowski, the mastermind behind this revealing master plan, is Anthony Alcocer. I have to admit, Mr. Alcocer really turned me into a fan after his performance in this show. His heart, humor, and comedic timing, along with his leading man caliber singing, really made his performance shine. I really enjoyed his character choices. He carries this show well.

Jeffrey Coyle plays Dave Bukantinski, Lukowski’s best friend, who has some self image issues and is currently playing Mr. Mom at the house. Coyle is absolutely hilarious. He holds nothing back in his delivery and is fantastic when it comes to comedic performing. I never stopped smiling anytime he entered the stage.

Thomas LaChiusa as Harold is a perfect choice. His knee high socks will have you dying, and his “my wife has whipped me into shape” persona is very entertaining. He is a wonderful choice to be cast in this show.

Other wonderful additions  come from the ensemble, with standout performances from Jamie Nablo, Macolm MacGregor, Katherine Parker, Victor Morales and Alfonzo Tyson.

Out of the hilarious evening, there were a few technical mishaps, including the accompanying track (there was no pit orchestra for this show, and a recording was used) freezing or skipping. As a musician, I cringe every time I hear a track CD in a live musical, because chances are, it will not end well. Those issues are however forgotten, because you will be laughing so hard at what you are seeing that you will forget all about it. I only remembered, because I took notes during the performance.

“The Full Monty” will live on as one of Subversive Theatre Collective’s finest. Go see this show!

Running Time: 2 Hours 30 minutes with one 15 minute intermission.

Advisory: Nudity and Adult Language

“The Full Monty” runs until May 12, 2018 and is presented at the Manny Fried Playhouse. For more information, click here.