Not Your Average Broadway Musical

By Leah Ching

Cambrian Players is gearing up for one of its most anticipated plays of the year. The Full Monty, based on the 1997 British comedy-drama film, has seen a highly successful run as a Broadway musical since its 2000 adaptation. This winter, the risque steelworker-turned-stripper musical is set to hit Thunder Bay.

Running from March 1-4 and 8-11 at the Finlandia Club, The Full Monty boasts a storyline quite unlike the typical Broadway musical. The plot follows a group of unemployed steelworkers. After being laid off and receiving that final paycheck on the factory floor, the out-of-work steelworkers turn to an unlikely avenue in search of an income. After seeing their wives’ enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendales strippers, the men decide to form their own striptease group and present an act at a local club. The title takes its moniker from main character Gaz’s declaration that their show will be even better than Chippendales, because they will go all the way—“The Full Monty.” Over the course of the play, the group of misfit men find the courage to “let it go.” 

The show features 25 actors, some local to Thunder Bay, and others from across the globe. The cast is made up of the 6 Monty men, and is rounded out by 19 others who play girlfriends, wives, and coworkers. Audiences will enjoy some faces familiar to the Cambrian Players’ stage, along with a few newcomers who are sure to impress. The Full Monty features Neil Paterson as the lead, Lawrence Badanai, Spencer Hari, Elliott Cromarty, Dennis Dubinsky, and finally, Daniel Hannah, a Lakehead University professor who hails from New Zealand, as the six Monty men.

“Our star of the show is Neil Paterson, who’s worked really hard to get into this character. The men have all worked very hard,” says the play’s director, Candi Badanai. “A lot of them didn’t even know each other, and now after a few months, they’re pretty much hanging out in their boxers in front of one another! It’s a great show, with so much spirit. I can’t wait for people to see it.”

In a play that’s well known for its infamous stripping scenes, Badanai promises there’s more to the play than just stripping. In addition to the mature “full monty” content, she notes that there is a plot full of intrigue. “It’s not just about stripping!” Badanai reiterates. “There’s a really developed background, a beautiful love story within the play, and some serious issues are touched on that I think gives the story a lot of heart.”

Just how much will these six men bare on stage? Badanai notes that there has been a lot of speculation. But viewers will have to buy a ticket to find out.

The Full Monty plays March 1-4 and 8-11 at the Finlandia Club. Curtain is at 8 pm. Tickets available at: Calico, Fireweed, Steeper’s, Red Lion Smokehouse, and at the door. (Wednesday $15 and Thursday to Saturday $20/adult, $15/student & senior).  As one of our Top Five events for March, attendees are eligible to win a prize in our Top Five in 5 Challenge, simply tag us in your photo or email proof you attended,