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Swan Song of six unemployed workers: Introducing the penultimate performance of the dance-filled musical The Full Monty
 
One of the benefits of serving on the Board of Directors of a theatre is that you can attend the rehearsals of upcoming productions, getting to see the development of a show before it hits the stage on opening night.  I did precisely that and saw director Tonda Hannum in action as she took six unlikely male strippers and molded them into shape, so much so that the audience roared with laughter and even ah-ed, oh-ed, and gasped during the most erotic moments of the show.  I have never seen that many women in the audience, several of whom were dancing in the aisles on opening night.  In the early 1980's, Tonda danced with Full Monty choreographer Ramon Galindo in the touring version of Bob Fosse's Tony-Award winning Dancin', which opened on Broadway in 1978 (click Tonda's name to see a TV interview she gave while on tour for Dancin', and click Ramon's name, which features the first of 3 videos of their 1981 rehearsal; click here for a recent photo of Tonda, second from left).  
 
As a member of the Board of Directors at the Media Theatre, I am occasionally asked to welcome and address the audience before the show, in this case, for the last evening performance ofThe Full Monty.  I invited everyone to join us for the co-production of Souvenir at Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre in June, starring Ann Crumb and Larry Daggett, and to send their children to one or more of the upcoming five two-week summer school sessions at Camp Media Theatre, and to check out the website for the auditions for the very popular DelCo Idol show.  I then invited everyone to sit back and get ready to see what most Americans don't usually get to see: "Curtain up for the Full Monty." 
 
The six actors play the roles of unemployed steel workers in Buffalo, NY, who, desperate for cash or a job, try to put on their own male revue.  While rehearsing, four of them try to survive the harangues of their wives and girlfriends, while the other two discover they are gay and fall in love with each other.  The women were led by the lively Georgie (Stacy Moscotti Smith) and the multi-talented Jeanette (Deborah Jean Templin), the funniest piano player I have ever seen on stage.  After many trials and tribulations, the six men put together a show that rocks the audience: Jerry (Timothy Quinlan), Dave (Jayson Elliott), Harold (Larry Daggett), Malcolm (Artie Sievers), Ethan (Matthew Hultgren), Horse (Rick Delancey).  This production brought in many good reviews, including this article from the very supportive News of Delaware County.  After the show, the male and female swans, Music Director Chris Ertelt and the band, friends, and supporters of the Media Theatre sailed to Brodeurs on State Street, a popular local restaurant and bar, for good company and a delicious midnight farewell.