A musical now on at the Centre Stage in Nanaimo is baring it all and if you aren’t shy about a bit of nudity, you will be thoroughly entertained by the production of The Full Monty which runs until May 12.
In this musical stage version adapted from the 1997 British film of the same name, six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, low on both cash and prospects, decide to perform a strip act at a local club after seeing their wives gush with enthusiasm after watching a Chippendales show at a local club and discovering how much money they could make taking it off.
The Chippendales scene at the get go, which includes some chiseled eye candy, kick starts the performance and is much appreciated by the ladies in the audience. The reasons women enjoy the show are apparent. The talented Jamie Westphal who plays Keno, the Chippendale performer, doesn’t disappoint when he takes it off and shakes his hard booty on the stage.
The laughter the production generates is non-stop but although the musical is comedic it also tells a heart tugging story of real unemployed men exposing their flaws and and vulnerability as well as their true potential.
The show’s themes and music resonate with both men and women with real situations and issues that hit close to home.
There are many different facets for the men in the audience to relate to, including plenty of man humour, sports themed segments and awesome live music, performed by a five-piece live band, led by Rick Becker which really enhances the performance.
One of the fearless men in the production includes Parksville actor Rob Atkinson. He plays Harold, the steel factory’s hard-nosed boss, and he reveals the many sides to his character on stage with a solid performance.
For the show Atkinson had to throw his modesty out the window and he, along with the Monty men, reveal all of their imperfections.
Atkinson said having a live band is the only way to go and he prefers it over pre-recorded music for many reasons.
“The band can adjust to what we are doing on stage and the energy they create is amazing,” he admitted, adding it is also more forgiving because if an actor misses the start of their song they won’t be two bars out.
Atkinson said the cast is having a lot of fun on stage and the audiences so far have been very responsive.
“It is one of the best shows I have done.”
He said each character has a huge journey to travel and they change so much over the course of the play and after rehearsing since January it is rewarding to see the audience appreciate and enjoy their ride.
Xander France, who stars as Jerry, the alpha male steel worker who is in risk of losing visitation with his kid, was convincing in his role as both a parent and the master mind who convinces the group of men to do the full monty.
Erik Gow, who stars as Malcolm, the complete loser who still lives at home with his mother, was both funny and lovable in his performance.
As the Monty men learn how to do a strip tease for their big night, each character must battle their inner demons which are eventually revealed …along with some other things.
Every performer brings their A game to this insightful production with their singing, dancing and acting.
The youngest actor in the cast, Holden Cole who plays Nathan, the son of Jerry has a confident performance.
It is the first musical production for the 11-year-old from Port Alberni and the young thespian, who spends most of his time dancing with the StageWest dance company, has a bright future on the stage.
If you haven’t been to see live theatre before, this show is a great way to experience it for the first time.
The Nanaimo Centre Stage doesn’t have tiered seating so if you are short, make sure you arrive early to get the seats in the back which are on a riser.
The fantastic show runs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Nanaimo Centre Stage until May 12. Due to course language and nudity The Full Monty is restricted to audience members of over 18 years.
There are only nine shows left and Atkinson said four of them are sold out so if you want to go make sure you act fast.
For tickets go online to www.schmoozeproductions.com, or visit Rich 1 Beauty Salon at #1-2145 Bowen Rd for cash only sales. For more information call Schmooze Productions at 250-739-0721.