The Full Monty
Raleigh Little Theatre
Through June 24
Transferring a hit film to the stage is never an easy feat, but writer Terrence McNally and musician David Yazbek have created a foolproof formula in their adaptation of 1997's Academy Award-nominated hit The Full Monty. And just as the film came with an R rating, the play also comes with a warning tag for foul language, nudity and obscenity. But oh, what fun such lewd behavior can be!
Sitting in an afternoon showing of Raleigh Little Theatre's The Full Monty, a mild-mannered audience came alive as they chuckled, gasped and guffawed their way through two hours and 25 minutes of this tale of laid-off factory workers and their scheme to earn money through striptease. This scenario sets up gender conflict as the play's central point of humor. But inherently, this provides a problem: It's impossible not to laugh at the men, but female performers such as Rose Martin as the bawdy Chippendale enthusiast Georgie, and Kristen Elizabeth McCabe as bitter divorcee Pam, win over the audience.
Still, the play is full of the locker-room humor, dirty dance moves and nudity that fueled the film, and in that brassy realm the play is a major success. —Kathy Justice
At the Vanishing Point
Manbites Dog Theater
Through June 9
Based on the life and work of photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard, At the Vanishing Point is set in the Butchertown section of Louisville, Ky., that Meatyard would have known between his birth in 1925 and his death in 1972. A spare, eloquent set by Jonathan Blackwell offers surfaces for the projection of Meatyard-styled photographs by Alan Dehmer, and these almost mystical images help take us into the mind of The Photographer (Derrick Ivey) and help us to understand his eloquent disquisition on seeing and understanding. (Reviewed May 30.) —Kate Dobbs Ariail