Interview: Craig Smith of THE FULL MONTY at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Actor Craig Smith takes the stage as Jerry in The Full Monty at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre.

By: May. 22, 2024
Interview: Craig Smith of THE FULL MONTY at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
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Interview: Craig Smith of THE FULL MONTY at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

The Full Monty, adapted from the 1997 British film, features a score by David Yazbek and book by Terrence McNally. The show introduces the audience to six unemployed steelworkers who come up with a seemingly crazy way to raise some money—performing a Chippendales-style act. The Full Monty, which first opened on Broadway in 2000, follows these characters and their families as they work to overcome both external and internal struggles. Actor Craig Smith takes the stage as Jerry in The Full Monty at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre.

BWW: What’s your favorite thing about performing?

Smith: For me it’s always been about getting an audience reaction. That was the greatest feeling—making 300 people laugh when I was a freshman in high school doing Anything Goes. I’ve been chasing that high ever since.

BWW: What is One Dream role you’ve not yet had the opportunity to play?

Smith: Honestly, I would love to play The Baker in Into The Woods, or Leo Bloom in The Producers, or just about anyone in Spamelot. But I would definitely love to be a part of Into The Woods at some point in my career. Oh, you asked for one…sorry, so definitely Sweeney in Sweeney Todd. Does four count as one?

BWW: The Full Monty is very different from the last show you were in—Ragtime. Tell our readers a little about how you prepare to go from one type of show and character to another with such a short time in between.

Smith: The biggest transition for me was the music. Going from Ragtime’s legit singing to Monty that has more of a rock flair was definitely a transition. I’m certainly more comfortable and trained with a classical style. But it’s been fun to stretch my wings with a more contemporary sound. 

BWW: What do you love most about your character in The Full Monty?

Smith: He’s a dad. I’m a dad. It’s a no brainer. I’m also divorced and can relate to the certain conversations which that kind of situation presents. But I fully relate to the fact that Jerry would do anything for his kid.

BWW: If you had to pick one, which character in The Full Monty would be your favorite (other than the one you play), and why would they be your favorite?

Smith: Okay, well if I had to pick one, I guess it would be Malcom? Although Jordon Ross Weinhold’s Malcom is perfect in every way and I wouldn’t do it any better or differently. He’s so much fun to watch navigate that character, but you made me pick. 

BWW: What do you think audiences will relate to the most in this show?

Smith: To be honest, I don’t know how to answer this one. My job is to tell the story of my particular character. So I’m fully invested in Jerry’s journey. The minute you start thinking about what the audience will think of this or that you lose the thread of the story. So I definitely hope they’re along for the ride because it’s a fun one, and everyone in the cast does an amazing job at telling this story. Maybe they’ll come away with the realization that everyone’s background is different and that other people’s lives shouldn’t be judged by what’s happening on the outside—that it’s what’s inside that matters. Or maybe they’ll just like the striptease. Lol

BWW: If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite song in the show?

Smith: I don’t have favorites, I learned that from having twins. But the one that’s currently stuck in my head the most is “Life With Harold.” It’s just on loop in my brain at the moment. And Shannon Connolly sings the hell out of it. She’s brilliant in the role of Vicki. You should come just to see her!

BWW: What was the most challenging part of preparing for this production?

Smith: For me it was coming to the realization that I would be taking my clothes off in front of not only my friends and family but also hundreds of strangers. Needless to say, I’ve been on a steady salad and gym diet since getting the role. Special thanks to my wife for helping me overcome the anxiety, to let go, and just have fun with it. But the real relief came when our director Victor Legarreta and our choreographer Ford Haeuser held a closed rehearsal with the six guys to work on the striptease and get our nerves out of the way. Everyone was extremely professional during the process.

BWW: Why should audiences come to see The Full Monty at Dutch Apple?

Smith: People should come to see what I get to see eight times a week. A cast of incredibly talented performers all perfectly suited to their roles under the great direction of Victor Legarreta. We have a blast telling this story, so much so we break each other onstage at times. Sure, there are a couple strip teases and some adult situations and themes but that’s also life. And if we can’t make light of life and enjoy the absurdity of this life then what’s it all for? We certainly “strip” down those barriers that get in the way and “Let It Go.”

Visit dutchapple.com for more information and to get your tickets. The Full Monty runs through June 22nd.



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