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The Full Monty

This crowd-pleasing musical, with book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by David Yazbek, and the 1997 movie on which it's based, pull off a seemingly impossible feat — making a sweet, heartwarming, nonthreatening show about a band of male strippers. In Buffalo, N.Y., steel worker Jerry (Will Collyer) and his co-workers have been laid off, and their egos and wallets are suffering. Fighting for custody of his son (Owen Teague), and inspired by the success of a professional male stripper (Todd Stroik), Jerry enlists his friends (Ryan O'Connor, Justin Michael Wilcox, Morgan Reynolds, Chip Phillips and Harrison White) to join him in creating a strip show in a local club. To outdo the Chippendales, they promise to deliver "the full Monty" — total nudity. Inevitably, this small-theater rendition isn't as slick as the Broadway version, but director Richard Israel provides enough ingenuity and humanity to make it work on its own terms. John Todd provides the inventive and athletic choreography, and Johanna Kent supplies crisp, energetic musical direction. There are terrific performances by Collyer, O'Connor, Reynolds, White, Wilcox, Wendy Rosoff, and Jan Sheldrick, as a tough, show-business broad who comes out of retirement to serve as the strip show's accompanist. Third Street Theatre, 8115 W. Third St., W. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through Oct. 14. (888) 718-4253, showclix.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Sept. 7. Continues through Nov. 11, 2012

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