It was my first time seeing The Full Monty live. And it was the first time my plus one had ever seen a performance by Uptown Players. He had just recently moved to town so it was even more exciting (not meant to be a pun)  for him.

I have been a big fan of Uptown Players for years. I had gone to a performance at the Kim Dawson studio and vowed I would see every performance I could.

The musical stage version of the hit 1997 British film, The Full Monty boasts a book by Terrence McNally and a score by David Yazbek. The Americanized musical was nominated for nine Tony awards and eleven Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, when its shimmied its way onto Broadway in 2000. 

The Full Monty follows six down-on-their luck steelworkers who are desperately seeking employment and a paycheck to support their families.  As they see women (including their own wives) going gaga over buff male strippers, they come up with a bold way to make some quick cash. These plain, uncoordinated men must overcome their body issues and learn to move their average bodies in a way that resembles erotic dance.  As they reveal the plan to their wives, the men must expose more than their bare-bottoms to make the plan a reality.

Director Cheryl Denson explains the relatable nature of this hilariously vulnerable musical saying, “These guys have to work through their fears, self-consciousness, feelings of worthlessness and anxieties, which we can all understand. The magical thing about this show is that these friends come to discover that not only are they stronger as a group, but that the strength they find in each other gives them the individual courage to face their demons and overcome them.” 

My big tips are

  1. Go one opening night. There is a cast party and big buffet. And at this opening night  it  was uniquely special to see the performers with all their clothes on

2.  Be aware there are long lines for the men’s room

This musical runs October 20 through November 5, 2017, with shows at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday (no performance October 22).

Performances take place at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd (at Blackburn), Dallas, TX 75219. Tickets are $30-$50 and can be purchased online at www.uptownplayers.org or by phone at (214) 219-2718.