There's some new Hot Metal in The Full Monty. Will Chase, whose Broadway credits include Miss Saigon and Rent, takes the lead role of Jerry Nov. 6 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. 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.
Still featured in the Broadway cast are 2001 Tony Award nominees John Ellison Conlee and Andre De Shields, Jason Danieley, Romain Fruge, Marcus Neville, Jane Connell, Annie Golden, Emily Skinner and Lisa Datz.
The five gentlemen who make up the band of stripping brothers are expected to take the show to London, where it said to be looking at the Prince of Wales for a March, 2002 opening. When exactly they will exit Broadway's Monty is unknown, but a post-holidays date is expected. Word in the theatre community has placed the tour cast, excluding Rod Weber, who played Jerry on the road, in the Broadway mounting, but this could not be confirmed by press time.
"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.