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The Human Race Theatre to Stage THE FULL MONTY: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL, 9/10-10/4

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The Human Race proudly launches its 2015-2016 Eichelberger Loft Season with the smash hit The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical. With a book by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by Drama Desk Award winner David Yazbek, the hilarious and heartwarming story follows six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers who, in need of quick cash and low on prospects, come up with the outrageous idea to put on a strip act after seeing the local women's wild enthusiasm for touring Chippendales dancers. Short on time and with little talent or physical appeal, the gang promises their show will be better because they'll go "the full monty" and bare it all! As they prepare for the big night, they learn to let go of their doubts and insecurities-and their clothes-in this hilarious adaptation of the hit 1997 film from Fox Searchlight Pictures. The Human Race Theatre Company's production of The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical is directed by Resident Artist, Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre at Wright State University and new Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame inductee Joe Deer, who has also directed Avenue Q, Big River, Lend Me a Tenor and It's a Wonderful Life for The Human Race. Resident Artist Sean Michael Flowers (HRTC's Avenue Q and Caroline, or Change) is the production's music director.

The preview performance of The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical is Thursday, September 10. Opening night is Friday, September 11. This production contains adult language and situations and, as the title implies, a bit of full frontal male nudity. It is definitely for mature audiences only.

Human Race President & Artistic Director Kevin Moore has been enamored with the show since he caught a preview performance before it opened on Broadway in October 2000. "From the minute that overture started," he exclaims, "I was like, 'Wow! This is hot. This is fun. This show is amazing. We have to find a way to do this.'" He acknowledges the large size of the show, with its numerous scene locations and set pieces, will be a challenge to stage in the intimate Loft Theatre. "We have a history of taking large musicals-Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, Mame-and adapting them to successfully fit the space," says Moore. "Our audiences love it, we enjoy the challenge and we'll do it again here with The Full Monty." Aside from the title-revealing "dare to bare" moment, The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical offers audiences a great deal more than scantily-clad men. Moore praises its overarching subject matter, "It addresses parental devotion in how far a father would go for his son, how to find courage when there's little to hope for, and the superficiality of body issues (this time, about men), and it does it all with genuine warmth, tremendous sincerity and outrageous humor."

Joe Deer describes The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical as "an incredibly fun, high energy show. When people ask me what it's about, I say, it's like 'Rocky meets Magic Mike.'" He admires the story about a group of men who are down on their luck, who manage to pull themselves together and redeem themselves and bring everyone up with them. "I love that," he beams. "I think there is no better show for people in Dayton to experience right now because we know-as a city-what that's like." Deer sees the parallels between the personal and community-wide losses caused by the end of Buffalo's steel industry in The Full Monty and the decades-long commercial and industrial losses felt by Dayton. "This was a mighty, mighty town and when the economy went south, when so many large businesses left, we were abandoned by people we had stood by." He likens it to the show's opening song, "Scrap." "We felt pretty much abandoned like scrap. But what I love about this show is exactly what's happening in Dayton right now," he states. "We are being redeemed and lifting up. We are being revitalized in a whole new way." Deer feels confident that audiences are going to come away from this show exuberant and recharged by its message and spirit.

Music director Sean Michael Flowers has worked on a wide of variety musical theatre styles, and has high praise for Yazbek's score and lyrics and their contribution to The Full Monty's narrative. "What I love about this show-once you really dive in and look at what's on the page-is that there is so much craftsmanship." He commends Yazbek for going above and beyond the current Broadway fare of pop and rock musicals, where the songs and script often stand apart. "David isn't just writing tunes, he's writing stories. He's really thinking about what the text is saying and reflecting what's going on in the action."

Dionysia Williams, a Wright State University graduate and BalletMet Dance Academy faculty member, serves as the choreographer. Having performed in a previous production of The Full Monty, Williams describes her task as creating "character-driven" choreography for the show's blue collar Buffalo citizens, "In the choreography, you're going to see that the movement is very authentic as to who these characters are." When discussing the show's highly anticipated strip tease dance number, she says, "These guys will be slick. Maybe not Magic Mike slick, but in their own way."

CAST AND DESIGN TEAM

The Human Race's production features the talents of 19 gifted actors, many who perform multiple roles. The six down and out steelworkers daring to take it all off are played by Human Race Resident Artist Jamie Cordes (HRTC's Mame and Man of La Mancha) as "Harold Nichols," Christopher deProphetis (South Pacific national tour, Rent 10th anniversary cast) as "Jerry Lukowski," Josh Kenney (HRTC's Fiddler on the Roof) as "Ethan Girard," Dayton-area native Matt Kopec (Elf: The Musical and All Shook Up national tours) as "Malcolm MacGregor," Richard E. Waits (regional productions of Dreamgirls and Ragtime) as "Noah 'Horse' T. Simmons" and Matt Welsh (Into the Woods, Assassins) as "Dave Bukatinsky." The cast also includes performances by Tracey L. Bonner (Director of Dance at Northern Kentucky University) as "Susan," Human Race Resident Artist Deb Colvin-Tener (HRTC's Lend Me a Tenor and Dirty Blonde) as "Jeanette Burmeister," Peanut Edmonson (HRTC's Mame) as young "Nathan Lukowski," Leslie Goddard (HRTC's Mame and Becky's New Car) as "Georgie Bukatinsky," Gina Handy (founding artistic director of Magnolia Theatre Company) as "Joanie," Human Race Resident Artist Scott Hunt (Rent and LES MISERABLES on Broadway) as "Teddy," Jillian Jarrett (Legally Blonde: The Musical and Annie national tours) as "Pam Lukowski," Wright Stage University graduate Richard Jarrett (Legally Blonde: The Musical national tour) as "Keno," Andréa Morales (Magnolia Theatre's Parallel Lives and HRTC's #othello) as "Estelle" and "Molly MacGregor," Sonia Perez (Carmen and H.M.S. Pinafore national tours) as "Vicki Nichols," Adam Soniak (HRTC's Mame, Paper Mill Playhouse's The Sound of Music) as "Marty," Human Race Resident Artist Scott Stoney (HRTC's Mame, Other Desert Cities, Oliver!) as "Reg" and Wright State senior Cassi Mikat (HRTC's It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play) as the swing.

Scenic designer Dick Block (Mame, Fiddler on the Roof) returns to tackle the multi-scene set for another large musical on The Loft Theatre stage. Costume designer Janet G. Powell (Family Shots, Avenue Q) clothes each of the 19 actors in numerous outfits, including the revealing uniforms for the show's big finale. John Rensel is the resident lighting designer and the sound designer is Jay Brunner (Crowns, Taking Shakespeare).

In addition to his music director duties, Sean Michael Flowers plays lead keyboard and conducts a seven-member band featuring Kevin Anderson (percussion), Matt Anklan (trumpet), Ian Benjamin (second keyboard), Jay Brunner (guitars), Mark Edward Funke (reeds) and Joel Greenberg (bass).

Kay Carver serves as the production stage manager and Preston D. McCarthy is the assistant stage manager.

Biographies on the cast and creative team can be found on The Human Race Theatre Company's website.

The Human Race Theatre Company's production of The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical is sponsored by the Schiewetz Foundation, Barbara N. O'Hara, Dr. Robert L. Brandt, Jr., M.D. and Susan S. Kettering. Additional support is provided by Houser Asphalt and Concrete, Beth and Alan Schaeffer and the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center.

Performance and special event information

Tickets for the preview performance of The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical on September 10 start at $35 for adults, $32 for seniors and $17.50 for students. For all performances September 11 - October 4, single ticket prices start at $40 for adults, $37 for seniors and $20 for students. Prices vary depending on the day of the week and seating location. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. The Human Race is offering a pair of discount ticket opportunities. Side-area seats are available at all performances for $25 each, on sale two weeks prior to performance. The Sunday, September 13 7:00 p.m. performance is "Sawbuck Sunday", when any available seat can be purchased in person for just $10 at The Loft Theatre box office two hours prior to the show. Discounts are subject to availability and some restrictions apply.

All performances are at the Metropolitan Art Center's Loft Theatre, located at 126 North Main Street in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Show times for The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical are 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Performances on Sunday and Tuesday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday matinees.

Tickets and performance information on The Full Monty: The Broadway Musical are available at www.humanracetheatre.org or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630, and at the Schuster Center box office.

Photo by Scott J. Kimmins


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