The Full Monty was a film (albeit a British one) before a musical, so it's no surprise Los Angeles will get a first chance at the new Full Monty national tour. Playing April 16-June 8, 2002, at the Ahmanson Theatre, The Full Monty will open April 24, filling the final slot in the company's season.
The first Full Monty's national tour ended Oct. 27 at Chicago's Shubert Theatre, but that was only the Fox Searchlight, Lindsay Law and Thomas Hall version. The musical comedy about six amateur strippers desperate to raise some cash in their depressed steel town has three new producers: Rent's Kevin McCollum and Jeffrey Seller, along with Albert Nicciolino, all set to take the show on the road in 2002.
The new national tour promises to be a scaled-down version of the current musical, but not too scaled down. McCollum told the Los Angeles Times (Dec. 5) that the cast and orchestra will remains as large as the earlier tour and the Broadway mounting.
No new casting has been mentioned. The first national tour starred The Full Monty Rod Weber (Jekyll & Hyde, The Civil War) as Jerry with singing legend Kaye Ballard (The Golden Apple, Carnival) as the gentleman's accompanist Jeanette and Andrea Burns (Parade, Saturday Night) as the tango-loving Vicki Nichols. The other five strippers — Chris Diamantopoulos (Les Miserables), Danny Gurwin (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Forbidden Broadway 2001), Tony nominee Larry Marshall (Play On!, Porgy and Bess), Daniel Stewart Sherman (The Mineola Twins, Corpus Christi) and Steven Skybel (Love! Valor! Compassion!, Ah Wilderness!) — moved into the Broadway company Nov. 20.
Tickets in Los Angeles will range from $25 to $75 and will go on sale to the public in early 2002. For further information, call (213) 628-2772. The Ahmanson is on the web at http://www.taperahmanson.com. *
"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 (Master Class, Love! Valor! Compassion!) and rock composer 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."
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.