BWW Review: THE FULL MONTY at Downtown Cabaret Theatre Lets It All Go!
I had the pleasure of catching Downtown Cabaret Theatre's production of THE FULL MONTY before they closed on May 19th. This high energy, heartfelt production let all inhibitions go and let the audiences to their insecurities. It was easy to feel empathy and care for each character on that stage. It evoked emotion and also kept you smiling with toe tapping songs. Based on the cult classic movie of the same name, THE FULL MONTY (book by Terrence McNally and music by David Yazbeck) brought joy to all audiences and is truly a reflection of excellent work of the director, Andrea Pane, who also played Keno.
When spying on their wives at "Girls' Night Out", unemployed steelworkers manage to get inspired for a way to make some quick cash. Overcoming criticism and insecurities, the men of "Hot Steel" bare all. The entire ensemble was emotionally and vocally seamless. Each actor complemented the others perfectly. It was a truly strong connection.
Captain of the team, Jerry Lubowski was skillfully played by David Webb. His confidence gracefully toes the line of cockiness, no pun intended. His leadership not only makes him the ringleader of this whole ordeal, but boosts the morale of his compatriots when their doubt begins to takeover. Webb is a truly versatile performer who tugs at your heartstrings in his most vulnerable moments as a caring father fighting for the right to see his son. This truly stand out performance was presented while not overshadowing his fellow cast members.
The concept of partnership is truly exemplified in the numbers "You Rule My World" and the Reprise of the same name. These songs showcase Dave and Georgie Bukatinsky (played by Kyle Riedinger and Johnna Fettinger, respectively) as well as Harold and Vicki Nichols (played by Jim Norton and Margaret Buzak, respectively) in addition to Dave's stomach. The strong relationships between these couples give romantic heart to the show, guts aside. Riedinger shines as a heartfelt comic relief. With Fettinger by his side, they are a loving dynamic couple that shine together onstage as well as having their own featured moments. Riedinger is perfect as the best friend. Fettinger is a strong confident woman that showcases her powerful vocals in the hit "It's a Woman's World".
A standout comic relief of this already comical musical is Jeanette Brumeister, played by the hysterical Elyse Jasensky. She is the elderly accompanist and showbiz vet that helps the men of Hot Steel put their act together. From her one liners to her fantastic number "Jeanette's Showbiz Number", Jasensky keeps the audience in stitches from the moment she steps onstage.
All in all, this strongly cast ensemble gave audiences an evening to never forget. The earworm filled score rounded out the show with the unforgettable number "Let It Go" that left audiences dancing in their seats. Keep an eye out for future events at Downtown Cabaret Theatre. Their next season is something you surely won't want to miss.
Photos by Ghostlight Photography