It was only a little more than a month ago when several of the MNSU theatre men were enduring a very awkward scenario: Performing a striptease in front of their professors. This, of course, was part of their audition for The Full Monty, the opening show of the main stage season. The next day, the cast launched into rehearsals. They are ready to present the final product Thursday.
The Full Monty tells the story of several men who are down on their luck with unemployment. As each of their struggles gets harder, they come up with the idea of putting on a one-night show featuring themselves stripping. A couple more people are recruited for the project, and after some very awkward auditions, they’re ready to begin rehearsing. But as morale gets lower and new problems occur, they realize they need to go for something bolder to get people to come. Directed by Dr. Paul Hustoles, The Full Monty features an extremely talented ensemble cast led by Matthew Sather and Gabriel Sell.
Rehearsals weren’t the only part of the process, however. A few weeks ago, the department was lucky enough to host a very special guest. David Yazbek, the three-time Tony-nominated composer of the show, visited for three days. During his time, he led songwriting workshops, Q&A sessions, a vocal masterclass and a concert of his music. He touched on many aspects of his life and career, from humorous stories to early ventures to previews of his upcoming projects. He also worked with the orchestra and cast of The Full Monty, going through the entire score with each group. Every student agreed it was a great privilege to have this opportunity to work with the composer of this wonderful show, and what they learned has only enhanced their performances.
If you don’t have any plans for the evening, the show opens Thursday. The Full Monty runs Sept. 29-Oct. 1 and Oct. 6-8 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 8 and 9. Ticket prices are $15 for MNSU students and $22 for guests and are available at the Performing Arts box office. Box office hours are Monday-Friday from 4-6 p.m., or starting an hour before each show. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, front row seats are still available.