Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wraps come off 'The Full Monty' at Largo Cultural Center

Dave, played by Derek Baxter, left, and Jerry, played by Zachary Hurst, are unemployed steelworkers who hatch a bold plan for cash.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Dave, played by Derek Baxter, left, and Jerry, played by Zachary Hurst, are unemployed steelworkers who hatch a bold plan for cash.

LARGO — It's history in the making. During Eight O'Clock Theatre's staging of The Full Monty starting Friday at the Largo Cultural Center, six male performers will strip to their skin for the show's final number, Let It Go.

But care has been taken to make sure no one will be offended.

"It is true that this is the first time naked men have been on our stage,'' said Betsy Byrd, Eight O'Clock's business manager. "But the truth is, the lighting will make it so the audience really doesn't see full nudity. The light queue puts the men in silhouettes.''

The Full Monty was first a 1997 movie, then in 2000 was adapted into a musical for the stage by playwright Terrence McNally and composer David Yazbek. It tells the story of a group of unemployed steelworkers who strip for cash.

Although the movie version had the guys living in Sheffield, England, the musical transplants them to Buffalo, N.Y.

Jerry Lukowski (played by Zachary Hurst) is down on his luck and needs to earn money to pay child support so he can see his son again. After watching women in town go crazy over Chippendale dancers, he persuades his buddies to join him in a striptease act for money.

They get a little carried away, and before you know it, Jerry tells some fans-in-the-making that their act will be better than the Chippendales because they'll show off everything. They'll go "the full monty.''

When it came to enlisting the local performers who would lose their clothes, it was important to make sure they were comfortable with the situation, said director Michael Newton-Brown.

"First of all, the audience never sees naked men,'' said Newton-Brown. "When it's time for that, they are in darkness, but at the auditions, the first thing I asked was if they had a problem taking clothes off in public. If they did, there was no point to proceed further.''

The person responsible for shrouding the naked men in darkness is Dalton Hamilton, Eight O'Clock Theatre's technical director. He admits he might be feeling a bit more pressure with this show, but he's having a blast.

"It's a great challenge, and a challenge is always fun,'' said Hamilton, 17.

Hamilton created a giant sign with 150 lights on it that will flash on behind the actors, putting them in silhouette at just the right moment. Hamilton has let it be known that for the pivotal scene at the end, he wants to be the sole operator of the light board.

"Timing in this is very important,'' he said. "The last beat is when it all happens. The guys literally pull off their G-strings, and that's when we put them in silhouettes.''

Are the actors confident Hamilton knows what he's doing?

"He better, because we have to keep our hands up after we take it off,'' said Kyle Hill, who plays the part of Malcolm, a lonely security guard.

"We look at it this way. Dalton wants to see us just as little as we want him to,'' joked Chris Bragg, who plays the part of Ethan, who yearns to dance like Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain.

Although he understands why much is made of the nudity, Newton-Brown, who has been involved in two other productions of The Full Monty, stresses that the stripping is about more than guys getting naked.

"The strips are symbolic of how each of the characters is gaining confidence in themselves and overcoming issues,'' he said. "Although it is exciting that the theater is going out so far on doing this, the stripping is not a big deal, as long as we get it right. Not once have I seen a nude body up there.''

The director thinks the success of the show also hinges on the way the audience accepts the characters.

"We want to make sure the audience falls in love with these people," he said. "The audience really becomes the cheering section.''

if you go

The Full Monty

Eight O'Clock Theatre will present The Full Monty at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays beginning Friday and running through Sept. 23 at the Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive. $25.50 for adults, $12.50 students (19 and under), $23 for groups of 10 or more. Call the box office at (727) 587-6793.

Wraps come off 'The Full Monty' at Largo Cultural Center 09/11/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 5:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco targets repeat offenders with new code enforcement tactic

    Local Government

    HOLIDAY — The out-of-date and overpriced gasoline cost on the sign outside — $2.69 for a gallon of regular — is the first indication that business isn't booming.

    Basil A. Almamluk is the owner of the closed Pure Gas station in Holiday, which has emerged as a poster child for a new "high return'' county code enforcement effort. The property on Mile Stretch Drive is littered with discarded furniture and other trash. [Photo courtesy of Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Pasco tax roll shows increase, but so, too, are budget requests

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County's tax roll grew by more than 5 percent in 2016, but it's a figure that likely would require local government budget writers to trim proposed spending requests.

    OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
New construction accounted for $693.5 million in taxable property values being added to the Pasco County tax rolls in 2016, according to preliminary estimates released by Property Appraiser Gary Joiner. Overall, the property tax roll grew more than 5 percent, according to the preliminary numbers.

  3. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  4. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  5. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.