ETC! Presents Benefit Production of THE FULL MONTY Tonight

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ETC! Presents Benefit Production of THE FULL MONTY Tonight

Experiential Theatre Company, ETC!, and acclaimed director Cat Austin, MA, winner of Sonoma Sun's prestigious award for Best Live Production of 2013 for Cabaret, announces run of The Full Monty. Premiering tonight, May 31 at the Sebastiani Theatre for a gala fundraising performance, The Full Monty then joins the summer series of Sonoma Theatre Alliance shows. The Full Monty continues June 7-29 at the Sonoma Community Center at Andrews Hall/Rotary Stage.

Directed by Cat Austin, founder of the Experiential Theater Company, The Full Monty welcomes a stunning cast and crew including: a Broadway star, a performer from the Bye Bye Birdie national tour, an actor who starred with Sally Struthers in The Full Monty, another award-winning Actors Equity performer reprising his Full Monty role, a musical director fresh from the Broadway production of Motown the Musical and Wicked and more.

"I'm so excited for the cast and crew we've assembled," said Austin. "It's the first time I've produced a show in which four of the actors have played their roles before and at such a high level. With this production, ETC! is taking a major step toward bringing Regional Theatre to downtown Sonoma. The actors have such a breath of knowledge about the show, which fits perfectly with my 'think tank' style of directing. I require my actors to bring their ideas forward, so we have all of this amazing creative input, and my job as director is not to harness it but somehow channel it so we end up with a show that is so much bigger than the sum of it's parts."

"Cat's an actors director," said Brooke Tansley who will play Georgie. Tansley starred as Belle on Broadway's Beauty and the Beast, performed in the original cast of Hairspray, and has been seen in Transcendence Theatre Company's Broadway Under the Stars. "It's what every actor hopes for. We only just recently met to discuss the show and I can tell it's going to be magic."

The May 31 gala performance at the Sebastiani Theatre is a benefit for the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation, Inc., with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the foundation. "This is not about ETC!," said Austin. "This is about supporting something else, supporting a theater space that is threatened, and if something isn't done, it's going to slip away."

Tickets are $175 for VIP seats and $100 for floor seats. An opening night gala will be held and VIPs will enjoy a red carpet entrance, up-front seats and a wine and cheese party on stage with the cast after the show plus other surprises.

Based on the Oscar-winning film, the musical follows a group of unemployed steel workers who resort to a creative and soul-baring scheme to raise money. Overcoming their fears, these steel workers challenge each of us to take risks and follow our dreams.

"Audience members may think they are coming into the theater for the shenanigans in full anticipation of that famous final moment," said Austin, "however we intend to take the audience on a deep, heartfelt ride about the many aspects of relationship and the love that drives us to do anything and everything we possibly can to keep that love in our lives."

The Full Monty incorporates national talent with some of the best local talent on stage and behind the scenes. Six Sonoma 'Monty Men' (local celebrities) will take the stage with the actors for the anticipated final dance number at the Opening Night Gala performance. From local politicians, doctors, board presidents, wine makers and more, the audience will be delighted and excited to see their community members going the "full monty" for the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation.

"When directing a show I am always looking for and inviting honesty on stage from my actors," said Austin. "ETC! audiences always know that they will be transported safely into a real world that we create for them. The Full Monty journey will be no different! Will we take it all the way? Come on the ride with us and find out."

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