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Full frontal comedy

Tacoma Musical Playhouse scores another hit with â€Ë"The Full Monty’

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I have to give a shout out to Tacoma Musical Playhouse. It is so solidly on a roll that it should enter the NASCAR circuit. This theater, as I have said several times before in this space, is on fire with hot, hot, hot shows and filled-to-the-rafters audiences, making it by far the theater with the most sought-after tickets in the South Sound.

The theater is staging the most requested play of its audience survey. Yep, that show.

“The Full Monty” is everything audiences have come to expect from TMP. Everything seems to work as if the show was written and staged for this theater in particular.

This stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold story is heartwarming and honest as it follows the life of Jerry, who is an otherwise great dad who finds himself in a bind when he loses his job and plunges into a funk that ends his marriage.

The Brooklyn man (played here by Scott Polovitch-Davis) tries to do right by his son and his ex-wife, but nothing seems to work out until he faces a decision: either come up with his back child support or face losing contact with his son until he does.

Desperation breeds inspiration, and he develops an idea to stage a one-night only male revue show with a gathering of his also-desperate buddies. Unlike the bubblegum version most people have seen on the silver screen, the stage version offers characters with much more heart and feeling than the comedic ones found in the movies.

Audiences feel for the characters as they struggle with their depression and decisions. They ponder whether they would shake their moneymakers if faced with the same decision. I think what makes this show extra special to South Sound audiences is that the actors are not strangers. We have seen these faces on the stage before, making it as if we are going through their decisions alongside them in ways seeing the show on a distant stage never could.

There’s Jerry’s buddy, Malcolm MacGregor (Jerod Nace), and the impotent Dave Bukatinsky (Tyler Rickdal), and the former foreman Harold Nichols (Dan Engelhard). And then, of course, there is “Horse” (Ekello Harrid), the man whose nickname boosts his stature more than it should, if you know what I mean. These are “real” characters on the stage and known names in the South Sound community.

And then there is the great music. From the opening bars of the rocking “Scrap” and “Big Ass Rock” to the touching ballad “Breeze off the River,” the music and lyrics by David Yazbek run the rainbow of emotions available to members faced with life of the human condition.

The production runs through May 13, with shows at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.  There are also matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 and 12. The production takes place at the Narrows Theatre located at 7116 Sixth Ave. Tickets are $23 for adults, $21 for students, seniors and military, and $16 for children 12 and under.  Student rush tickets are $16 opening weekend.  For tickets or more information, call (253) 565-6867 or visit: www.tmp.org.

As the title states, this show includes some nudity and is not recommended for ages under 15 because it does include some coarse language and adult themes. But it really isn’t anything most preteens haven’t already been exposed to if they have ever watched “Jerry Springer” or have Comedy Central. Any child who has seen “South Park” or “Drawn Together” would in no way be offended by this show.

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