A few weeks ago, things looked bad for the touring cast of The Full Monty. The national company was forced out of their jobs by the Sept. 11 tragedy with only a vague promise of a new, scaled down tour to begin in January 2002.
Five of them need not worry any longer about looking for work. The national tour's Chris Diamantopoulos, Danny Gurwin, Daniel Stewart Sherman, Steven Skybell and Tony nominee Larry Marshall will step into the leads in the Broadway company Nov. 20. Diamantopoulos (Les Miserables) replaces Romain Fruge; Gurwin (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Forbidden Broadway 2001) steps in for Jason Danieley; Daniel Stewart Sherman (The Mineola Twins, Corpus Christi) replaces 2001 Tony Award nominee John Ellison Conlee; Steven Skybell replaces Marcus Neville; and Tony nominee Larry Marshall steps in for 2001 Tony Award nominee Andre de Shields. The original cast members are headed for London, where The Full Monty is expected in spring 2002.
Nov. 6, Will Chase, whose Broadway credits include Miss Saigon and Rent, took over the lead role of Jerry. 2001 Tony Award nominee Patrick Wilson left the role Nov. 4 to travel with the USO Broadway shows this winter and then lead Oklahoma! as Curly in the spring.
"The Full Monty" film was the surprise low-budget hit of 1997 with Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and wins with Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score. The movie told of six average looking British men who decide to star in a strip show to raise money in their economical depressed mill town (The term "the full monty" means to take something to the fullest - in the case of the strippers, that means to get completely naked). Ironically, the movie ended just as the gents braved "the full monty" to a club filled with the town's populace. Bookwriter Terrence McNally and composer-lyrcist David Yazbek, however, opted to change the locale of the piece, moving it to Buffalo, New York from Sheffield, England. They have also added a few characters: a gorgeous gay stripper who beats the stuffing out of homophobic Jerry , and the guys' rehearsal pianist, Jeanette, whose shining moment is "Jeanette's Showbiz Number."
Other songs in the score include "Scrap," "It's a Woman's World," "Man," "Big Ass Rock," "Life With Harold," "Big Black Man," "You Rule My World," "Michael Jordan's Ball," "Breeze Off the River," "The Goods," "You Walk With Me" and "Let It Go."
Before opening on Broadway Oct. 26, The Full Monty began life at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre June 1 with good reviews and an Old Globe box office record. Performances extended there through July 9 before the show was remounted at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre Sept. 25, opening Oct. 26.