Long Islander Review: ‘The Full Monty’ Keeps The Laughs Coming

The Long Islander

January 26, 2017

Janee Law


Ten-time Tony Award nominee “The Full Monty” is bringing plenty of laughs to Northport village’s John W. Engeman Theater.

The venue was roaring with laughter during Saturday night’s show, causing audience member Rose Santopietro, of Northport, to call it “better than Broadway.”

The witty line delivery of Dave Bukatinsky (played by Ryan G. Dunkin), the introduction of the spunky Jeanette Burmeister (Diane Findlay) and the dance number of Noah “Horse” T. Simmons (Milton Craig Nealy) in “Big Black Man” can’t be missed, Santopietro added.

The production’s creative team, including director Keith Andrews, choreographer Antoinette Dipietropolo and musical director Andrew Haile Austin, meanwhile supplies a mix of harmonious melodies for the cast to perform.

The story focuses on friends Jerry Lukowski (Brent Michael Diroma) and Dave, who witness their wives’ enthusiasm for the popular touring company, Chippendales. They decide to gather a group of six men to put on a strip act after losing their jobs as buffalo steelworkers. Leading up to the big night, the group of six work through their fears, anxieties and find strength in their camaraderie.

The closing number of the show was one of audience members Santopietro and Rose Pascale, both of Merrick, favorite scenes.

“It was done elegantly with great taste,” Pascale said. “I absolutely loved it. If you need to be lifted, this will lift you right up.”

Both Santopietro and Pascale said their favorite characters were Jerry, “Horse” and Jeanette.

“They were so natural,” Pascale said. “You’ve got to go see it. Matter of fact, I’m going home and calling a few of my friends.”

Playing the lead role of Jerry, Brent Michael Diroma said his favorite scene is the hysterical bathroom scene, in which Jerry and Dave hide in a stall and overhear a conversation between Georgie Bukatinsky (Nicole Hale), Dave’s wife, and Jerry’s ex-wife, Pam Lukowski. The scene serves as a means to “set up all the relationships right out of the gate, and it’s a blast,” Diroma said.

Considering what his role entails, Diroma said the role isn’t nerve-racking.

“To a certain point, the six of us build this sort of camaraderie to where we’re doing it as a band of brothers, and we’re doing it together so it doesn’t feel weird,” he said. “If they put one of us on the stage, we probably couldn’t do it.”

Show times for “The Full Monty” at John W. Engeman Theater (250 Main St., Northport) are 8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturdays; and 2 p.m., Sundays. Some Wednesday and Sunday evening shows are also available. Tickets range $71-$76 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Engemantheater.com. The show runs through March 5.


Read online at: http://www.longislandernews.com/life-and-style/the-full-monty-keeps-the-laughs-coming

The Observer Review: The Full Monty a hit on Engeman stage

The Observer

David Ambro

January 26, 2017


At the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, you get The Full Monty, if you know what I mean.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled night out this winter, this is it.

The Full Monty, starring Brent Michael DiRoma in a reprise of the lead role of Jerry Lukowski, an unemployed Buffalo steelworker who convinces a group of average Joes to become male strippers for quick cash, opened Saturay, January 21 at the Engeman Theater. It’s hilarious.

This is arguably the most playful, engaging and funniest show ever to hit the Engeman stage.

The Full Monty runs through March 5. For tickets call the box office at 631-261-2900, or visit the box office at 250 Main Street, Northport, or visit the theater website, EngemanTheater.com.

Mr. DiRoma, and his cast of misfit strippers, Ryan Dunkin as Jerry’s best friend Dave Bukatinsky is a standout, and are all talented singers, eager actors, and upbeat slapstick dancers. Diane Findlay, as pianist Jeanette Burmeister, is a veteran of her role and she plays it to perfection; and at the other end of the theatrical spectrum stage novice Kyle Wolf shines as Jerry Lukowki’s son Nathan.

Although it’s Mr. DiRoma’s debut on the Engeman stage, he is familiar with the roleof Jerry Lukowski. He played Jerry at Stages in St. Louis to close its 2015 season, a show that got rave reviews.

It’s a wonderful part for Mr. DiRoma, who delivers an engaging and likable musical version of Jerry Lukowski, a character created in a 1997 Academy Award nominated British Film, The Full Monty! set in Sheffield, England, which was adapted to a musical for the American stage and reset in Buffalo, New York.

During a post-opening night interview at the Engeman Saturday, Mr. DiRoma said one of the things he likes about the show is the interaction with the audience. During the opening-night performance he momentarily went off script when an audience member screamed, “keep your hat on,” as he squeezed a black derby over his naked crotch.

“Oh,” he said. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

He laughed and returned to his lines, and with the six members of Hard Metal flipped the audience The Full Monty, R-rated and tastefully done with a backdrop of hard stage lights that turned the row of male strippers into black silhouettes.

“The whole show is like that,” Mr. DiRoma said. “From beginning to end the show is a ball. I mean the show starts out with a guy taking off his clothes.”

“It’s not a fluffy show, you know what I mean. It’s not like Anything Goes, it’s not like the Bronx Tale. It’s The Full Monty,” said Mr. DiRoma, who has performed Huey in Memphis, Hank Maiewski/Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys, Tony in West Side Story, and Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q.

“Every night an audience builds a relationship with the actors on stage, and I felt really close to this audience tonight,” Mr. DiRoma said.

The men turned to stripping after being laid off from a steel mill. The play opens at Giordano’s on Route 11 in Buffalo, a club where the wives of the laid-off steelworkers attend a show of the famous Chippendale male strippers. Divorced and struggling to maintain custody of his son, Jerry comes up with the idea for a strip show of his own, 1,000 women at $50 each, a $50,000 night.

While the group practices its striptease routine, Jeanette reminds them of how bad they are, criticism she heaps on with uproarious punch lines.

Days before the big performance, Jerry’s best friend, Dave Bukatinsky, who struggles with insecurity about his weight, backs out of the opening night strip show. Then Jerry, in a desperate act to sell tickets, promises “The Full Monty,” a totally nude show not even the Chippendales provide. When the curtain goes up though, Jerry backs out suddenly, but the show goes on without him. Encouraged by his son, Nathan, Jerry hits the stage just in time for The Full Monty.

The Full Monty features a zany and comical plot interlaced with family drama, a story told with a wide ranging musical score highlighting the skill of the Engeman cast. Mr. Dunkin, Spencer Glass as stripper Malcolm MacGregor, Peter Simon Hilton as stripper Harold Nichols, and Noah Bridgestock as stripper Ethan Girard, are all wonderful singers, Big-Ass Rock, Michael Jordan’s Ball and You Walk With Me showcasing their wider range. And in Big Black Man, Milton Craig Nealy as Noah “Horse” Simmons turns in one of the show’s most entertaining numbers. And, early in the second act, Mr. DiRoma showcases his talent with the solo Breeze Off the River, a stunning ballad he delivers beautifully.

“I’m a singer first, but Jerry isn’t, so I try really hard to get away from the perfect vocals and the trained voice to give it more of a punching bag feel as opposed to trying to do it with all the technique and voice because I hate when people try to Jerry like that,” Mr. DiRoma said. “He’s a man’s man, and that’s how he wants to be seen. So, I think if you sing the ballad beautifully, that takes away from that manliness.”

DiRoma said though, that although the music is there, the role of Jerry Lukowski is in the acting, not the singing. “I do have to sing every night, and that takes work, but all my focus is on who Jerry is. And if Jerry were to sing a song, how would he go about it,” DiRoma said. “That’s what’s most important to me.”

“It’s a big role in that it is top to bottom and very little time off the stage, and as challenging as it is I share a lot of similarity with Jerry, and there is plenty that I don’t share with Jerry,” DiRoma said with a laugh. DiRoma, who was 25 when he first played Jerry and is 26 now, said as he gets older he can relate more closely to Jerry’s plight, a 32-year-old unemployed man trying to provide for his family.

About the Engeman Theater, Mr. DiRoma said performing in Northport has been a treat.

“I love it man. I love what they’re doing here. The people who run this theater are brilliant. It’s a theater for musicals with cup holders on the seats, so you can drink. That’s the way to see a show,” he said. “You know what I mean, especially for the husbands and dads who get roped into coming to see The Full Monty or something like that. I think they are pleasantly surprised to come into a theater that is welcoming in that way.”

“This is a show that is about the camaraderie of these characters and the music and the comedy aside, there is somebody they can relate to in these guys,” he said. “The theater itself is brilliantly run. Two weeks is a very difficult rehearsal process. Usually it is three weeks, but two weeks is fast.”

Ms. Findlay also said performing at the Engeman has been a treat and she loves this version of The Full Monty.

“I love this theater. It is a little diamond here and [Producing Artistic Director] Rich [Dolce] and everyone concerned are charming, they know what they are doing, we are treated beautifully, the cast that they selected is top notch all the way – it’s a perfect experience,” Ms. Findlay said after the show.

This is her fourth time as Jeanette. “It’s a great show,” she said. “I think this is the best cast I have ever worked with. I think that our director Keith Andrews really selected a cast that personifies each character.”

“I’m very proud to be a part of this perfect cast and beautiful Engeman theater,” she said.

Kyle Wolf, 13, of Glen Head, who has been a professional actor for less than a year, played Jerry’s son Nathan Lukowski in his biggest role ever.

“It’s a lot of fun. The show is so much fun,” he said during an interview in the Engeman lobby after the opening Saturday night. “It’s a very different experience because usually for every part that I have had it has been a younger version of the main character. So this is really cool because I am a main character throughout the show.”

“I really like the story because it is really funny and at the end it is heartwarming,” Kyle said.

He said his favorite members of the cast to work with are the gang of strippers, which includes his dad Jerry. He said his favorite part of the show is the closing scene in which he convinces his dad to go out on stage and strip with the other members of Hard Metal, the unorthodox group of male strippers his dad assembled and then tried to bailout on amid last minute stage fright.

He said another one of this favorite scenes is You Rule My World, with Vicki and Harold. “That’s a fun scene,” he said.

“This is my first time coming here. I’ve always wanted to do stuff here because it’s on Long Island and it’s a very good theater, but I have never gotten involved with it before,” he said. “So, this is a very good experience.”

Kyle performed off Broadway at the Davenport Theater in Manhattan as Young Vince in Molasses in January and he was Young Terk in Tarzan at the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

“This is one of, probably the best theater I have ever worked at. It is a real good theater,” he concluded.

Mr. DiRoma said although inexperienced, Kyle has been easy to work with.

“Kyle is awesome. He is my favorite Nathan that I have ever worked with doing this show,” he said. “It is interesting because everyone knows that if a kid is on stage they are the one who everyone is looking at. So I’m happy to be involved with him.”

Newsday Review: Hats (and everything else) off to these guys


January 25, 2017

Steve Parks


In “The Full Monty,” six unemployed, middle-age men are so desperate for the dignity of earning a wage — even for just one night — that they strip naked in front of friends, family and everyone else they know in their hometown. The Tony-nominated musical, based on a British film, is played for laughs. And waves of opening-night laughter were generated at Northport’s Engeman Theater.

Laid off from a failed Buffalo plant, steelworkers hatch their short-term enterprise after seeing their wives thrilled by Chippendale strippers. For their striptease, they’re dressed as faux cops, hats and all.

Brent Michael DiRoma as Jerry and Ryan Dunkin as Dave, along with Peter Simon Hilton as Harold, their former boss — also laid off — embody the emotional investment these men have in their harmlessly public humiliation. Jerry, separated from his wife (Kate Marshall) and in child-support arrears, has the most at stake. He could lose shared custody of their son, played wise beyond his preteen years by Kyle Wolf. DiRoma invites us to own his pain, fortifying comedy with poignancy. Dunkin as overweight Dave lets us feel his self-consciousness about his body. But it’s his neglected wife, an empathetic Nicole Hale, who suffers his self-loathing about layabout unworthiness. Meanwhile, Hilton’s tortured Harold hasn’t told his wife (Gaelen Gilliland) that they can’t afford the high life anymore.

The guys recruit unabashed Malcolm (Spencer Glass) and Ethan (Noah Bridgestock) as unlikely partners, plus Milton Craig Nealy as “Horse,” a comically stereotypical “Big Black Man.” Together, they pledge to outstrip the Chippendales. All but stealing the show aboard DT Willis’ industrial set is their piano accompanist (Diane Findlay), who’s seen and done it all. Andrew Haile Austin and his six-piece band do the actual playing.

As directed by Keith Andrews and choreographed with naked split-second timing by Antoinette DiPietropolo and crucial backlighting by Doug Harry, it’s a blessed relief to laugh out loud as the men “Let It Go,” doffing even their hats.

Their humanity far outstrips their tease.


Read online at: http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/theater/the-full-monty-review-laughter-s-the-bare-essential-in-northport/

Broadway World Review: ‘Let It Go’ with the Engeman’s THE FULL MONTY

Broadway World

January 25, 2017

Melissa Giordano


In another hit for Long Island’s John W. Engeman Theatre, Tony nominee The Full Monty delivers a lively production like its Broadway predecessor. This wonderful incarnation, directed superbly by Engeman newbie Keith Andrews, runs through March 5th at the gorgeous Northport venue. The musical, by Terrence McNally and David Yazbekbased on the 1997 movie, centers on a group of steel workers who were laid-off from their job and we follow them trying to get back on their feet and overcome insecurities.

Each has their own story, but their goal is the same.

Jerry, portrayed excellently by Brent Michael DiRoma, is fighting to continue to see his son as Jerry hasn’t paid child support in a while. Incidentally, Kyle Wolf, who portrays son Nathan, is a natural in the role with a great combination of hopefulness for his father yet discomfiture. Dave, portrayed charmingly by Ryan G. Dunkin, seeks to overcome body-image issues and be a more attentive husband to Georgie strongly portrayed by Nicole Hale. Harold Nichols, the guy’s former supervisor portrayed by Peter Simon Hilton, is worried how his wife, Vicki, portrayed by Gaelen Gilliland, will react to him being unemployed because she REALLY likes their extravagant lifestyle. Malcolm MacGregor, portrayed endearingly by Spencer Glass deals with an elderly, overbearing mother as well as shyness. Ethan Girard, portrayed hilariously by Noah Bridgestock, is a young, simple man navigating life. And Noah “Horse” T. Simmons, portrayed excellently by Milton Craig Nealy, is trying to keep busy in retirement.

Once Jerry and Dave realize how fervent their wives (and the rest of the town) react to a touring male strip-show revue, they recognize this is how they can at least start mending their lives. They put together their own Chippendales-esque show (with a twist!) with the help of sassy pianist Jeanette Burmeister portrayed by show-stopperDiane Findlay in a performance that leaves the audience in absolute stiches. Additionally, Kate Marshall is stellar as Jerry’s estranged wife Pam.

The entire Broadway caliber cast is truly extraordinary with spot on comedic timing at every turn.

Another highlight is the innovative set designed by DT Willis. At first we see a moody, grungy ambiance fitting to the guys beyond frustrated mood collecting unemployment for so long and nothing is being done by their union. Movable pieces flow seamlessly to bring us to different locations throughout the production. This is enhanced cleverly byDoug Harry‘s lighting and Tristan Raines‘ stunning costumes.

And so, the Engeman’s The Full Monty is indeed a must see for the season. And to clarify, even though there are intense moments, the outnumbering – and endless – hilarious moments will certainly leave you smiling.


Read online at: http://www.broadwayworld.com/Let-It-Go-with-the-Engemans-THE-FULL-MONTY/

Times of Huntington-Northport Review: Engeman’s ‘The Full Monty’ more than satisfies audience members

Times of Huntington-Northport

January 24, 2017

Rita J. Egan


The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport exposed a night of adult fun this past Saturday when it held the press opening of “The Full Monty,” its current mainstage production. Judging by the applause, laughter and howling coming from the audience, the musical, directed by Keith Andrews, will be another huge hit for the theater.

Based on the 1997 movie of the same name, the story takes six men on an adventure where they hold nothing back, emotionally or physically. Featuring a book by Terrance McNally with score and lyrics by David Yazbek, “The Full Monty” introduces theatergoers to two unemployed steelworkers from Buffalo, Jerry and Dave, who decide to organize and perform in a strip act after seeing local women go crazy for a Chippendales-inspired show. Even though they look nothing like strippers, they soon join forces with their former co-workers Malcolm and Harold and hold auditions for two more dancers where they meet Horse and Ethan and form Hot Metal.

While a few characters’ names differ from the film, and the location has been changed from the movie’s Sheffield, England, to Buffalo, New York, the musical is still filled with something everyone can identify with whether unemployment, divorce, relationship problems, body issues or even the caring of an ailing parent.

And like the movie, even though the men working together to overcome their anxieties and self-consciousness creates a few serious and tender moments, overall it is told with a great deal of humor both in dialogue and lyrics. It’s a tale that leaves audience members not only cheering for the characters but also exiting the theater feeling uplifted.

“The Full Monty” opens with a high-energy scene where the woman are enjoying a girls’ night out. The story soon switches to the men at the union hall, and the number “Scrap” let’s the audience know there are serious matters to be dealt with and money needed.

Throughout the musical, Brent Michael DiRoma (Jerry) and Ryan G. Dunkin (Dave) are a terrific duo easily handling delicate matters with well-timed humor. The two are at their best during Act One’s hysterical number “Big Ass Rock” where they try to discourage Malcolm from committing suicide by showing him the ridiculousness of different scenarios. Spencer Glass as Malcolm soon joins in on the number, ecstatic that he may actually have friends, leaving the audience laughing uncontrollably.

Peter Simon Hilton, who plays Harold a former supervisor hiding his unemployed status from his wife, captures the character’s nervousness perfectly and easily plays straight man to the others. He and Dunkin also reveal impressive vocals on the sweet number “You Rule My World,” where Harold wonders how he will tell his wife about his situation, and Dave ponders if he’ll ever lose the weight, particularly his stomach, that rules his life.

Noah Bridgestock is adorable as the young stud Ethan and exhibits great physical comedic ability, but it’s Milton Craig Nealy as Horse, during the number “Big Black Man,” who shows all the young men how it’s done with strong vocals and slick dance moves that delighted the Saturday night audience.

During the number “Michael Jordan’s Ball,” the men perform seamlessly together providing a catchy, standout number at the end of Act One. Another stellar performance by one of the male performers is “You Walk With Me” during the second act. While Glass nails the awkwardness of his character Malcolm, the tenor shines during this moving number, and toward the end of the song, Bridgestock joins him and complements his fellow actor nicely. “Breeze Off the River” sung beautifully by Diroma is another touching number during the second half of the musical.

While “The Full Monty” focuses on the six men, the female cast members cannot be ignored. Diane Findlay as Jeanette Burmeister, the men’s pianist, is a delightful surprise. She delivers her lines with the comedic ability of greats such as Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers, and during “Jeanette’s Showbiz Number,” performs with the skill of a Broadway professional.

During Act 2, Nicole Hale as Dave’s wife, Georgie, and Gaelen Gilliland as Harold’s wife, Vicki, beautifully execute the reprise of “You Rule My World.” Kate Marshall, playing Jerry’s ex-wife Pam, skillfully balances strength and gentleness of a woman who is trying her best to move on while co-parenting with her ex.

Suzanne Mason, Jennifer Collester Tully and Lexi Lyric add to the humor as they hilariously bring to life the joys of working women just wanting to have some fun. Vincent Ortega also adds to the high jinks as club owner Tony Giordano, the Cha Cha teacher and a random jogger.

It should also be noted that Kyle Wolf is sweet and endearing as Jerry’s son Nathan. James D. Schultz garnered tons of laughs when he performed an awkward semi strip tease act during the dancer auditions, and Alexander Molina as Buddy “Keno” Walsh, the professional stripper, handled his egotistical character with a tongue-in-cheek performance as well as some dance moves that delighted the ladies in the audience.

“The Full Monty” leaves the best for last with the men’s anticipated performance and the catchy “Let It Go.” The cast and crew tastefully orchestrated the last scene, which left those in attendance howling with laughter but not too red from blushing. The show is perfect for a pleasurable night out with the girls or even date night, but leave the children home due to some adult language and partial nudity.


Read online at: http://tbrnewsmedia.com/engemans-the-full-monty-more-than-satisfies-audience-members/

DC Metro Theater Arts Review: ‘The Full Monty’ at the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport

DC Metro Theater Arts

Kristen Weyer

January 23, 2017


The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport rarely disappoints, and true to form their newest production, The Full Monty is remarkably well done. This ten-time Tony nominee has a book written by Terrence McNally, music and lyrics by David Yazbek, and was based on the 1997 movie of the same name. Directed here by Keith Andrews, and full of fun and entertaining choreography by Antoinette DiPietropolo, The Full Monty will have you laughing the whole way through.

Jerry Lukowski (Brent Michael DiRoma) is a down-on-his-luck steel worker in Buffalo, NY. He, his best friend Dave (Ryan G. Dunkin), and many others, have been out of work for a long time. He’s in arrears on his child support, in danger of losing his son, and in low supply of self-respect. He needs money, a lot of it, and quickly. With the only jobs available not meeting his standards, things are looking down, until he gets an idea. Noticing how excited the women of the town are about the Chippendale dancers, he decides to get some guys together and put on a show featuring “real” Buffalo men. Through awkward rehearsals, self-doubt and cold feet, the six would-be strippers take the audience on a humorous ride through the world of male exotic dancing. Many views of derriere included.

This cast does a fabulous job in every aspect. Their voices are strong and pleasing, the comedic timing is spot on, and the characters progress naturally from fear and nervousness, to confidence. Brent Michael DiRoma and Ryan Dunkin have a wonderful rapport together, bringing the best friend relationship to believable life. Raw emotion flowed easily from them, adding authenticity to the down-trodden desperation driving their characters. Spencer Glass is endearing as the slightly dim-witted, yet sweet, Malcolm. His delightful facial expressions add to his character, as well as the overall humor.

Noah Bridgestock as Ethan, and Peter Simon Hilton as Harold, bring moments of both comedy and heart to the performance. Noah a.k.a. Horse, was portrayed by Milton Craig Nealy whose great voice and smooth dance moves were a pleasure to watch. Kyle Wolf did a marvelous job as Jerry’s son, Nathan. His amused, yet embarrassed demeanor is a perfect portrayal of his character’s emotions. While everyone was excellent, one performance stood out above the rest. Diane Findlay stole the show as the spunky piano player, Jeanette. Her hilarious antics and spot-on one liners, combined with sass and wit made for a magnificent performance.

DT Willis’ clever set worked extremely well. Its grungy appearance aids the feeling of a down trodden town, and its swinging panels easily bring us to differing locations. costume design by Tristan Raines appropriately reflects each character’s status in life. The lighting by Doug Harry is much appreciated, and superb sound design by Laura Shubert bolsters the entire show. The Full Monty is heartfelt, and always amusing.


Read online at: http://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/review-full-monty-john-w-engeman-theater-northport/

Smithtown Matters Review: ‘The Full Monty’

Smithtown Matters

Jeb Ladouceur

January 23, 2017


No one seems to know the exact origin of the British term ‘The Full Monty,’ but we’re certainly aware of what it defines in modern parlance. It means ‘whole hog’ … ‘all the way’ … ‘the whole enchilada’ … ‘the works!’

Accordingly, when Terrence McNally wrote the book for David Yazbeck’s musical about six destitute steel workers determined to raise money by putting on the mother of all male strip shows, he wisely stuck with the tantalizing title of the 1997 film from which the production is derived … and New York voyeurs showed up in droves to take a peek.

As it turns out, the show, which opened at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre in October of 2000, had more going for it than just a suggestive moniker. Indeed, the musical garnered ten Tony nominations … a dozen Drama Desk nods … and ran for 800-plus performances. Not since ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ had such a provocative ‘come-on’ lit up The Great White Way.

Okay … maybe theatergoers in the mid-Long Island area don’t constitute quite the same naughty audience that flocked to sold-out performances of ‘The Full Monty’ on Broadway for two years. Still, it was apparent from last weekend’s Engeman opening of the risqué musical, that we locals can hardly be labeled a bunch of prudes. The titters, belly laughs, and catcalls were all there, and they rocked the jammed playhouse from curtain to curtain.

The concept of this show is a good one: It is built around six men’s convictions that their wives’ mania following a Chipendales performance, would be nothing compared to what the out-of-work sextet could generate … if they staged a similar beefcake production, but topped it off with … get the digitalis … a Full Monty climactic number!


Of course, there are some things even legitimate theater can’t get away with (apologies for the ‘dangling preposition’), but Director Keith Andrews keeps his six leading men in check just barely (there I go again) enough to dissuade the Northport cops down the street from raiding the joint.

The half-dozen would-be ‘eye candy’ exhibitionists turn-in some surprisingly dazzling, and dramatically empathetic performances along the way, and the actors deserve to be mentioned here. They are: Brent Diroma (as Jerry Lukowski), Ryan Dunkin (Dave Bukatinsky), Peter Hilton (Harold Nichols), Spencer Glass (Malcolm MacGregor), Noah Bridgestock (Ethan Girard), and Milton Nealy (playing ‘Horse’ Simmons).

‘The Full Monty’ contains obvious overtones of Mel Brooks’ classic ‘The Producers’ so it’s hardly coincidental that Richard T. Dolce, The Engeman’s Producing Artistic Director, tapped veteran dance arranger Antoinette DiPietropolo … who choreographed ‘Producers’ … to fill that vital function in this show. Comedy in dance must be an extremely difficult effect to achieve (Donald O’Connor and Danny Kaye were the masters, for my money) but DiPietropolo’s work is right up there with the best we’re likely to see in any genre. She created perfect synchronization throughout between her amateur ‘artistes’ and Musical Director Andrew Haile Austin.

‘The Full Monty’ has scheduled a fairly long run (it closes on March 5th) but the suggestion here is that tickets ($71.- $76.) be purchased well in advance. This is one of those productions that will almost surely fall into the ‘sleeper’ category … a show you definitely won’t want to have heard about from your neighbor once it’s over. That would be a shame! You’d lose out on show-stopping numbers by Nealy (‘Horse’) and Diane Findlay (who excels as piano-playing ‘Jeanette Burmeister’).

As for likely sources of the expression ‘Full Monty’ … most attribute the term in some way to British Field Marshal ‘Monty’ Montgomery … others favor English clothier Montague Burton … and so forth. It’s my theory, however, that the phrase stems from betting the entire pot in the old card game, ‘Monte.’ At any rate, don’t miss this bang-up show. It’s got some of the funniest sight gags you’ll ever see.


Read online at: http://www.smithtownmatters.com/theater-review-the-full-monty/

The John W. Engeman Theater presents THE FULL MONTY


(Northport, NY- January 2017) – The John W. Engeman Theater announces the cast and creative team for THE FULL MONTY.  Performances begin on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 8:00pm and run through March 5, 2017.

This 10-time Tony Award® nominee is filled with honest affection, engaging melodies and a raucous mix of razor-sharp humor and toe-tapping pizazz… not to mention the most highly anticipated closing number in Broadway history! In need of quick cash and low on prospects, six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers come up with the outrageous idea to put on a strip act after seeing their wives’ enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendales. As they prepare for the big night, working through their fears, self-consciousness and anxieties, they overcome their inner demons and find strength in their camaraderie.

THE FULL MONTY features a book by Terrence McNally (Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Ragtime, Catch Me If You Can) with score and lyrics by David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown).

The Creative Team is KEITH ANDREWS, Director (National Tour: The Full Monty; New York: The Gig (NYMF), Regional: The Rocky Horror Show (Regional Premiere), Rock of Ages, Saturday Night Fever, The Addams Family, South Pacific, Spamalot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (starring Joe Piscopo), Sister Act, Shrek, Young Frankenstein, The Drowsy Chaperone); ANTOINETTE DIPIETROPOLO, Choreographer (Engeman Theater: Mamma Mia!, Memphis, Miracle on 34th Street, The Producers, A Christmas Story, Evita!, The Music Man, South Pacific, Hairspray, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change and Nunsense. Off Broadway: With Glee. Regional: Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Ragtime. National Tour: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Associate Director/Choreographer for The Big Apple Circus) and ANDREW HAILE AUSTIN, Musical Director (New York: Golden Fleece Opera Company; Regional: Tidewater Opera Initiative (Composer-in-Residence), Virginia Music Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Theatre Under the Stars, Gateway Playhouse).


The Creative Team also includes: DT WILLIS (Scenic Design), TRISTAN RAINES (Costume Design), DOUG HARRY (Lighting Design), LAURA SHUBERT (Sound Design), GAYLE SEAY and SCOTT WOJCIK of WOJCIK/SEAY CASTING (Casting Directors), EMILIA MARTIN (Wig & Hair Design), TONIANNE DIFILIPPO (Props Design), VINCENT ORTEGA (Assistant Director/Choreographer), DENISE WILCOX (Production Stage Manager), and KRISTIE MOSCHETTA (Assistant Stage Manager).


THE FULL MONTY is produced by RICHARD T. DOLCE the Engeman Theater’s Producing Artistic Director.


The cast of THE FULL MONTY features BRENT MICHAEL DIROMA as Jerry Lukowski (National Tours: Jersey Boys, Avenue Q; Off-Broadway: I’d Rather Be Right, Cabaret Girl (Musicals Tonight); Regional: Legally Blonde and West Side Story at Gateway Playhouse), RYAN G. DUNKIN as Dave Bukatinsky (Broadway Workshops/Readings: Pure Country, Shrek the Musical; National Tours: Cheers: Live on Stage, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, The Full Monty), PETER SIMON HILTON as Harold Nichols (Engeman: Boeing, Boeing (Bernard); National Tours: Frost/Nixon, Oklahoma!, Les Misérables); SPENCER GLASS as Malcolm MacGregor (New York: Wringer!; National Tour: Elf; Regional: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Weston Playhouse), NOAH BRIDGESTOCK as Ethan Girdard (Regional: Hairspray, Les Misérables, Bonnie and Clyde; Film: “Webb MD” and “Allabaster”) and MILTON CRAIG NEALY as Noah “Horse” T. Simmons (Broadway: Motown the Musical, Caroline or Change, Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Once on This Island, Dreamgirls; National Tours: The Full Monty, Dreamgirls, Jesus Christ Superstar; Film: “The Blues Brothers”).


THE FULL MONTY also features: DIANE FINDLAY (Jeanette Burmeister), GAELEN GILLILAND (Vicki Nichols), NICOLE HALE (Georgie Bukatinsky) and KATE MARSHALL (Pam Lukowski).


Press Opening is Saturday, January 21st at 8:00 pm


THE FULL MONTY will play the following performance schedule: Thursdays at 8:00pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 3:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00.  Some Wednesday and Sunday evenings are available. Tickets are $76 on Saturday evenings, $71 all other performances and may be purchased by calling (631) 261-2900, going online at EngemanTheater.com, or by visiting the Engeman Theater Box Office at 250 Main Street, Northport.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted.


The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport is Long Island’s only year round professional theater company, casting actors from the Broadway talent pool. From curb to curtain, we have made it our business to provide affordable, quality, theater in an elegant one-of-a-kind location with outstanding facilities and extraordinary service. The renovated Theater offers stadium-style seating, state-of-the-art lighting and sound, a full orchestra pit, and a classic wood-paneled piano lounge with full bar.


For a complete show schedule and more information contact the theater directly at 631-261-2900, visit the box office at 250 Main Street, Northport or visit www.EngemanTheater.com

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