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Lethbridge Musical Theatre brings the Full Monty to the Yates Theatre

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Lethbridge  Musical Theatre are  giving audiences a full experience by doing something a lot different for their annual Fall musical, opening at the Yates Theatre, Oct. 26.

Anna McBryan and Dilon Crown are part of LMT’s production of the Full Monty. Photo by Richard Amery

 The musical, inspired by the 1997 British movie about six  unemployed steel mill workers who decide to strip to make ends meet, is something different for Lethbridge Musical Theatre, who usually put on more traditional mainstream musicals.

The plot of the musical closely follows the movie plot though it has been Americanized. It takes place in Buffalo , New York instead of Sheffield, England, and some of the more English references have been changed

“It’s been an interesting and rewarding experience,” said director Andrew Andreachuk who joined forces with music director Jillian Bracken and choreographer Jessica Ens who has performed with New West Theatre to bring the show to the stage.

 They recruited some of Lethbridge’s most familiar faces to perform and a hot live band.

“I got to talking about it with Jillian Bracken last year during  9 to 5 and we really wanted to do it. There is a lot of truth and intelligence in it,” Andreachuk said.

“It’s about real people in real life with real problems. They’re  relatable. People will care about the characters and enjoy the show. I’m confident people will enjoy them,” he said adding he hopes the Full Monty will help expand. LMT’s audience by doing something a little different.


“Our on stage talent and crew are exceptional,” he said.

“And the band adds such an amazing musical performance that brings everything together,” he said, adding keyboardist Bente Hansen is on stage.

“I haven’t worked with her for about 10 years, when we were in West Side Story. She was in the band then. She is on stage this time in a role that is just for her,” he said.

The multiple Tony award nominated musical has plenty of “Tonys” in the show, with a different Tony each night.


“There were some people we really wanted in the show but couldn’t get in the show , so  we have special guests every night. It’s a special event every night ,” he said, adding special guests include  Jeff Carlson, Kelly Rhea and the Owl Acoustic lounge co owner Steve Foord, who is also offering food and drink specials related to the show.

The show includes a cast of 20, a six member band and lots of back stage help.


“You’ll see some really familiar faces like Ashley Thomson, David Barrus, Mark Campbell and Anna McBryan,” he said. There are several actors from Playgoers of Lethbridge’s production of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” including Ashley Thomson, Shelly David, Dan Pottage and Theatre Outré/ Playgoers of Lethbridge/ Impromptu veteran David Gabert.


“We have a wealth of experience. There are a lot of regular  LMT performers. and it’s only the third show our lead Dan Pottage has done. He was in  (Playgoers of Lethbridge) ‘ The Play That Goes Wrong,’ and  ‘9 to 5. ”

Dan Pottage is excited about his first lead role.


“Playing a lead role was always the goal. Jillian and I got talking during. 9 to 5 about it so when the opportunity arose,  I jumped at it,” said Pottage, who plays Jerry Lukowski, who get talking about performing their own Chippendales type show while accompanying their wives to a Chippendale’s show.

“The other steel mill workers have been laid off. So they decide to form a male strip show. Jerry needs to  make some money in order to get his kid back. He also has to deal with his ex-wife,” he said, thanking his own wife for being so patient with him during a consecutive series of long rehearsal periods for the three shows he has been in.


 In addition to remembering all of his lines, singing was a challenge.

“I’m traditionally a baritone and my part is a tenor, so it has been a challenge developing my vocal range. It’s a not a sad show, so singing it in falsetto would be a terrible choice. But we only had to transform one of the songs to a baritone,” he said, adding he wasn't familiar with the musical of  the Full Monty before getting involved, though he  was familiar with the movies.

“There are a lot of heartfelt moments, but the show is really all about having fun,” he said adding he has enjoyed working with the cast. Lethbridge Musical Theatre veteran Dave Barrus is excited to be back in the Full Monty”  as  Dave Bukatinsky. 


“I was asked to read for it,” he said.

“I’ve worked on a lot of LMT shows and Fran (Rude) and Ken (Rogers)  shows and with Playgoers of Lethbridge,” he said.


He also wasn’t familiar with the musical of the movie.

“I like to develop my character from the page,” he said adding he has loved working with the cast.


“I love working with people who want to have a good time and are dedicated to the show,” he said.

He also enjoys that the show explores men’s body issues.


“ Most people talk about women’s body issues. But this show is about men’s body issues and how they overcome that. It’s a little less normal to talk about,” he said, adding there are a lot of comedic moments in the show. 

Shelly David is usually on stage with Playgoers of Lethbridge including with their upcoming pantomime “ the Snow Queen.”

She is excited to be in her first LMT production, playing Malcolm’s ailing mother Molly MacGregor and singing in the chorus at the end of the show.

“It’s been wonderful. The cast has been so much fun.  Jillian and Jessica have been so accommodating and welcoming,” she said, adding  she plays smaller parts in the Full Monty as well as the Snow Queen, so  it’s easier to accommodate rehearsals.


“The Full Monty: The Musical,” is at the Yates Theatre Lethbridge Musical Theatre opens their musical  the Full Monty at the Yates Theatre, Oct. 26 as well. It runs at 7:30 p.m. each night , Oct. 26-29 and Nov. 1-4. There are also matinee performances at  2 p.m. on  Oct. 29 and Nov. 4. The show is meant for 14 and over.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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