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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 5, 2003

'The Full Monty' Shows Its Stuff In Hancher Sept. 23-28

"The Full Monty," the runaway hit Broadway musical comedy based on the internationally popular 1997 British film, will come to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium for eight performances: at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Sept. 23-26, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28.

The movie -- about desperate, unemployed steelworkers in Sheffield, England, who bare it all for cash -- became one of the surprise sensations of British film history. And the stage musical version, relocated to Buffalo, N.Y., took both Broadway and London by storm.

Of course, the secret of "The Full Monty" phenomenon is that it is not really about stripping at all. What it reveals is humanity: It's the funny and heartwarming story of a group of down-and-out friends who reclaim their manhood and self-respect by overcoming adversity, working as a team and achieving an unlikely victory.

"The Full Monty" was re-imagined for the stage by Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally. His musical collaborator, David Yazbek, is not exactly a household name, but just about everyone knows his pre-"Monty" work: He wrote gags for David Letterman's TV show, and composed the theme song of the educational TV hit "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego."

The resulting show has attracted some of the most enthusiastic theatrical reviews of the last decade. A critique on Capital Radio concluded, " 'The Full Monty' re-defines and sets the benchmark for the musical in the 21st century. It's as sharp as a razor, acerbically witty and contains music and lyrics that put most other musicals straight out to pasture. And here's a rarity for a musical -- the characters are completely three-dimensional. You really DO care what happens to each and every one of them. This show's an absolute sensation."

What's On gushed that the "musical comedy version of the biggest ever box office grossing British movie retains the heart and soul of the film without attempting to copy it. Terrence McNally's excellent book takes six blue-collar workers and their families and friends on a journey from economic scrap heap to self-discovery. David Yazbek's score maps the character-based drama with some stand out numbers."

USA Today called "The Full Monty" "one of the most entertaining and exhilarating productions you're likely to see." And Jay Reiner, writing in the Hollywood Reporter, called the "Monty" musical "one of the most exhilarating musical comedy treats to be seen in years. David Yazbek's witty songs have an edgy, hip quality. . . And McNally's book is a comic gem. The show has so many highlights and show stoppers, one loses count."

Composer and lyricist Yazbek comments on the thunderous audience reaction that has dependably followed every performance, "I wish I had applause like that after every show I do with my band. I've never seen anything like it in the theater -- in the musical theater. It's like a rock concert.

"It's got this undeniably strong arc, like a sports story -- a group of guys get together, start a team, have some trouble getting it together -- magnificent seven or seven samurai style -- and then they overcome the odds and win. And you can't deny it's compelling -- you're going to be interested from beginning to end."

Although there is no real nudity in "The Full Monty," the story's content makes it appropriate for audiences 16 years and older.

Support for the Hancher performances of "The Full Monty" through the University of Iowa Foundation has come from Mace and Kay Braverman, Southgate Development; Kevin and Patricia Hanick, Lepic-Kroeger Realtors; Carl and Julie Schweser; and Sheraton Iowa City Hotel and Morgan's Bar and Grill; with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Tickets for the Tuesday through Thursday performances, the Saturday matinee and both Sunday performances are $58, $55 and $50 ($46.40, $44 and $40 for UI students, senior citizens and youth). All Zone I tickets for the Friday and Saturday evening performances are $58, with student, senior citizen and youth prices for Zones II and III the same as for the week-night performances.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher .

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:hancherboxoffice@uiowa.edu.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher/media.html

OTHER INFORMATION: Advance interviews with the cast can be arranged through Winston. B-roll video, including interviews with the creative team, is available for TVs.