Owosso Community Players, June 16, 2018
by Guest Reviewer Patti Roost
It is an undertaking that would daunt a lesser theatre company, but Owosso Community Players is not a group to be daunted. As with Calendar Girls a couple years ago, OCP again tackles “clothing optional situations” with a gleefulness that is impossible not to embrace. The Full Monty is another fun story of an in-your-face response to economic hardship in a small blue-collar town.
Addressing issues of family, relationship, insecurity, The Full Monty is sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and touching, and it stretches the skills as well as the courage of a theatre company. I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I say that dancing in one’s underwear is not necessarily a skill that comes naturally, and doing so on stage is a courageous act. Kudos to a cast that makes this scenario seem likely and likeable, and to a crew and company that gives them the support they need to tell the story. It is particularly endearing to see this musical performed in a small town, by friends and neighbors . . . just as the steelworkers did, whose stories are being told. We understand the courage needed.
That said, this show could not have happened without a cast that is both talented and willing to put it out there. Director Garrett Bradley gathered a tremendous cast of performers, and their collaboration is a joy to watch.
The music is not familiar, but is quite wonderful; it is varied and furthers the story. Clever lyrics – like the show itself – are sometime funny/hilarious and sometimes poignant and touching. Throughout the show, we find ourselves nodding in agreement and feeling empathy with the singer(s). A particular favorite is a song called “Big Ass Rock” . . . check it out.
The orchestra was well-rehearsed; they sounded absolutely terrific. They must be careful at the top of the show: an enthusiastic and talented orchestra should not overwhelm the words being sung or spoken on stage. This happened, as I said, at the top, and then the orchestra settled into the supporting role it needs to play. Truly lovely job, musicians.
The set design is perfection. The opening scene (after the ‘prologue,’ which is a stunner in and of itself) is interesting in its levels and its mood. Time and place are clear, backdrops are beautiful and function perfectly, scenes are changed smoothly – and it all makes for great pictures throughout the show. Kudos to the set crew! Costumes are spot on, look great, and ‘reveal’ a lot of time and effort put in by the costume crew; really admirable work!
Playing one more weekend –
Fri, June 22 – 8pm
Sat, June 23 – 8pm
Sun, June 24 – 3pm