"The Full Monty

American Cabaret Theatre

Directed by Bob Harbin

Through April 29

The American Cabaret Theatre is presenting a spot-on rendition of the musical The Full Monty. Everything in the show clicks, with a stellar cast, great sets and lots of laughs.

The premise is the same as the movie version. Set in Buffalo, N.Y., a factory has closed, leaving many men unemployed for the last 18 months. Desperate to make some cash and regain their self-esteem as men, Jerry (Dave Ruark) gets the idea to do a strip show after seeing the crazed response one got from the local women. But when challenged — what have you got that the pros don’t? — he says they will go the full monty, i.e., full frontal nudity.

Don’t worry; you don’t really see Ruark, Ty Stover, Jake Haley, Rory Shivers, Karlton D. Turner and Collin Poynter in all their glory — but you might see more of them than you ever really wanted.

As leading man Jerry, Ruark is fantastic, but he is not alone. Combining their excellent voices with just the right amount of silly humor, the guys’ songs, such as “Big Ass Rock,” “Big Black Man,” “The Goods” (what I call The Underwear Song), “You Rule My World” and “Let It Go” (the finale/striptease), are both vocally impressive as well as hysterical. Haley and Poynter come together for a beautiful and poignant rendition of “You Walk with Me.”

The guys aren’t the only ones to make an impressive showing here, though. Peggy Chambers as Vicki has a great number, “Life with Harold,” as does Bobbi Bates as Georgie in “It’s a Woman’s World,” and the two come together for a lovely “You Rule My World (Reprise).” Vonda Fuhrman as pianist Jeanette is a riot. Kudos to director Bob Harbin, musical directors John Austin Butsch and John Phillips and set designer Bernie Killian, as well as the live band, and costumer Jeff Farley for Jeanette’s wild outfits.

Another highly recommended show.

The Full Monty continues at the ACT through April 29, Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25-$30. Call the ACT, 401 E. Michigan St., 317-631-0334, for reservations, or go to www.act.indy.org.



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