By Caroline Forde
Westminster College of the Arts takes the stage of the Bart Luedeke Center Theater Oct. 9 to Oct. 13 to put on a witty and quirky rendition of the awarding-winning British musical The Fully Monty.
The eccentric musical is directed and choreographed by Robin Lewis, assistant professor of performing arts and Louis F. Goldberg, adjunct professor of theater and dance, stands in as musical director. Based on the 1997 British comedy, it tells the story of six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, all down on their luck, who decide to create a strip act at a local strip club to try and turn things around for themselves. The show is a mix of comedy and positivity, reminding the audience of the importance of friends and family.
“The best part about the show is that there are six average, blue-collar Joes, all with different circumstances, who overcame the odds and came together to get through tough times to gain money for their families and themselves,” senior musical theater major Caleb Funk said.
Funk plays Harold Nichols, supervisor of the steel mill, which is the setting for the play. The show also includes performances from musical theater majors junior Rajeer Alford, sophomore Kyle Geraghty, junior Peter Petrino, senior Greg Clark and sophomore Travis Przybylski.
Lewis explained that the show is relatable to the current time period and that although it is intended for adults, everyone can learn something.
“The show is filled with heartfelt, real moments that everyone can relate to,” Lewis said. “The show has several messages. It encourages people to be proud of who they are and who they love. While the show is definitely for mature audiences, it stresses the importance of family and family values.”
Along with heartfelt moments, the show promises laughs and a lot of fun, according to Lewis. The department considered which musical would resonate best with Rider students.
“Every year we get together and decide what is best for our students,” Lewis said. “This year we decided on a contemporary rock piece, and we have a lot of great character people in our department. The show has a lot of great characters and great rock songs.”
Funk describes the challenges of finding his character and tried to relate his life experiences to the story.
“Getting into character was all about finding out who your character is,” Funk said. “I’m 22 years old and I’m playing a 40-year-old gentleman who has lost his job, and I am not used to that circumstance. Deciding how to work that into my character was an interesting, yet fun experience. Choosing what kind of person Harold is, if he’s extremely pompous and rude, and finding the comedy in that, was a lot of fun.”
One aspect of the show has been buzzing around Rider: full nudity. It is no secret that the show involves the main characters becoming strippers for money. Many students wonder if full nudity will be shown in the show.
“The six of us got together and did the strip for the first time recently,” Funk said. “At first we were all excited, we knew it would be a lot of fun. We were really nervous, though, just to do it around each other at least, but once we got the giggles out of the way and had fun with it, we felt a lot better.”
Funk is eager for performances to begin.
“We’re all very excited for the show,” Funk said. “Our adrenaline has been racing and we know the show is going to be a lot of fun.”
Lewis left the most important question unanswered.
“Will we do the Full Monty?” he said. “I guess you’ll have to come see the show to find out.”
Printed in the 10/09/13 edition.