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BWW Reviews: Boulder's Dinner Theatre Presents Heartwarming, Yet Cheeky Performances in THE FULL MONTY

THE FULL MONTY plays on the Boulder's Dinner Theatre stage now through November 9th in Boulder, CO. Based on the 1997 British hit film, the stage adaption by the same name centers around a group of unemployed steelworkers who are frustrated with life, women and work. When Jerry (Seth Caikowski) finds out he may lose custody of his son, he and five friends: Dave (Joel Adam Chavez), Harold (Scott Beyette), Ethan (Burke Walton), Malcolm (Brett Ambler), and Horse (Robert Johnson) hatch an unlikely and daring plan to make some quick cash. After seeing their wives' enthusiasm for a touring company of professional male strippers, the men decide that, regardless of looks or ability, they will put on their own strip act at a local club. In the process, they band together to face their fears and anxieties head-on; from being overweight and feeling inadequate, to plain old loneliness. What they find is that they're strong enough to tackle just about anything together.

While their new and hot beef noodle salad was great and flavorful, I was a bit disappointed not to see a preview of Spamalot. From the opening and revealing strip show, we all knew that we were a fun and naughty show. The one thing that was evident throughout this awesome performance was the heart that was exuded from the actors in this show. While this is a show with plenty of skin, we can't forget that this is a testament to the working class and those honorable men trying to making it in this uncertain economy. This struggle was evident was apparent throughout and that actually gave this show a whole new meaning for me and I truly cherish that. I must say that one of the best songs of the night was Scrap that had an awesome male harmony in this production. My only one critic was about the male stripper that needed more of a contrast from the machismo onstage and the flamboyant gay man that he actually was. It is this contrast that keeps that audience laughing, but was lacking in this production. Even with this error, I have to commend the company for not editing this show as it would lose it's blue collar and raw appeal. Several of the highlight numbers include Scrap, It's a Woman's World, Big Ass Rock, Life With Harold, Big Black Man, The Goods, You Walk With Me, Let It Go.

Seth Caikowski truly let his star shine in the title role as Jerry. His charismatic and sarcastic performance guided this wonderful musical with much laughter and even more heart. It was nice to see him transition from the scene stealer into the leading man. Joel Adam Chavez was good and certainly looked the part of Dave, but his performance was a little flat and couldn't hold up to the dynamo that was Seth. Even with that said, the audience absolutely loved hiM. Scott Beyette kept the show grounded as the skeptical former manager, Harold and his role brought such a grounded warmth to the guys chaotic scheme. Burke Walton was goofy, and sexy as the endowed Ethan. He made me laugh every time he attempted to run up walls and he brought a interesting charm to the show. Brett Ambler had an adorable nervousness as Malcolm and his rendition of Walk With Me brought a tear to everyone's eye in the audience. Robert Jackson brought down the house with his signature number, Big Black Man and his voice is truly is something to behold. From the moment the show started, Amanda Earls dominated the show with a fierce energy as Georgie. Aside from her sassy attitude, she also have a great set of pipes on her and that was evident in It's a Woman's World and You Rule My World. Joanie Brosseau was simply marvelous as Harold's wife, Vicki and had everyone cheering with her show shopper, Life With Harold. This show belonged to Shelly Cox Robie as Jeanette and had the audience wrapped around her nicotine stained finger. I was delighted to see Shelly come from behind the scenes and absolutely kill it onstage. I do hope to see more of her in the spotlight in the future.

Scott Beyette was pulling double duty as Harold and the director of the show and was excellent on both accounts. From stellar casting and sensible blocking, to bringing out the heart of this wonderful musical, Scott rose to the occasion and deserves kudos for a great show. Music Conductor Neal Dunfee kept the energy up as the music conductor and blended with the singers perfectly. The set, designed by Amy Campion put together a memorable factory facade and each of the smaller set pieces worked perfectly into the entire show. Along with that was the lighting, by Rachael Dugan with some great effects (especially at the end) and great blending of sound by designer Wayne Kennedy. I also have to compliment costumes by designer Linda Morken that gave the blue collar factory feel to the entire show. I also thoroughly enjoyed that choreography by Matthew D. Peters, especially with Michael Jordan's Ball and Let it Go.

Another heartfelt and energetic performance from the talented cast and crew of Boulder's Dinner Theatre. THE FULL MONTY is delighting audiences now through November 9th and include both the performance and dinner served by the stars of the show. For tickets or more information, contact the box office by calling (303) 449-6000 or online at www.bouldersdinnertheatre.com. Group rate tickets and season subscriptions are available for all performances throughout the year. THE FULL MONTY is rated R for mature content and brief nudity.


The boys of THE FULL MONTY


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From This Author Michael Mulhern

Michael Mulhern has lived in Denver and been active in it's theater scene for over 10 years. He is originally from Wiesbaden, Germany and graduated (read more...)