Brooke Hills Playhouse to Present ‘The Full Monty’

The Brooke Hills Playhouse has announced the cast for their upcoming production of “The Full Monty,” a musical comedy adapted from the 1997 hit British film of the same name, with the American stage adaptation by noted playwright Terrence McNally, and songs by David Yazbek.

The show, which takes to the Playhouse stage July 6-8 and 13-15, moves the story to Buffalo, N.Y., where some unemployed steelworkers decide to put on a Chippendales-inspired strip show, in which they promise to give their audiences “the full Monty.”

According to director Emily Vulgamore Hores of Wellsburg and musical director Lakin Weaver of Follansbee, the show features a wide range of talent familiar to Playhouse and other area theater audiences.

The ensemble cast will play characters related by blood, marriage, romance and friendship.

Musical director Lakin Weaver will portray steelworker Jerry Lutkowski, who is very close to his young son, Nathan, to be played by Tyler Hores of Wellsburg. Tyler is director Emily Vulgamore Hores’ son. Her daughter, Odessa, will be working behind the scenes as stage manager.

Bethany Fernbaugh of Weirton is cast as Jerry’s estranged wife, Pam. who is engaged to Teddy Slaughter, played by Grant VanCamp of Follansbee. Jerry has a girlfriend of his own, the much younger Estelle Genovese, to be portrayed by Kacie Craig of Carnegie. Pete Fernbaugh of Weirton has the role of Jerry’s best friend, Dave Bukatinsky, who is married to the warm, down-to-earth Georgie, played by Karissa Martin of Woodsfield.

Dave Zanieski of Weirton will portray Malcolm MacGregor, a shy man saved from a suicide attempt by Jerry and Dave. Malcolm has developed a fast friendship with Ethan Gerard, a fellow unemployed steelworker with an upbeat personality, to be played by John Heiserman, also of Weirton.

Steven Snyder of Follansbee has the part of Harold Nichols, an unemployed mill supervisor who has been keeping his jobless status from his beloved wife, Vicki, to be played by Kendra Wickham of Richmond. Jalen McCrary of Wheeling will portray retired steelworker Noah T. “Horse” Simmons.

Besides conducting and playing woodwinds in the orchestra, Anthony Panebianco of Wintersville will have the onstage role of male stripper Buddy “Keno” Walsh, whose performance inspires men to start their own Chippendales-inspired act. Two actors will play dual onstage roles. Hayden Heiserman of Weirton will play both a male stripper and nightclub owner Tony Giordano. Walt Warren of Wheeling is cast as union leader Reg Willoughby and an unnamed minister.

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Other cast members include: Linda Cowan Youssef Wheeling as the guys’ piano player, Jeanette Burmeister; Celesta Byard of Follansbee as Susan Hershey; Callie Carroll of Morgantown as Joanie Lish; and Zack Ziolkowski of Wheeling as Marty.

In addition to Panebianco conducting and playing woodwinds, the orchestra includes Jess Gulisek of Belmont on keyboard, John Leonard of Follansbee on trumpet, Blake Geisting of Steubenville on bass, Cody “Stiney” Stepanek of Wheeling on percussion and Bethany Fernbaugh of Weirton as rehearsal pianist.

The Brooke Hills Playhouse has issued a parental advisory for “The Full Monty.” According to Julia Barnhart of Wellsburg, president of the Playhouse’s parent organization, the Brooke County Arts Council, “This show is recommended for mature audiences, due to subject matter, language and adult situations.”

“The Full Monty” is sponsored by the Mullenbach Funeral Home of Follansbee.

After “The Full Monty,” the Playhouse’s annual show for younger actors and audiences will follow, with performances July 27-29 and Aug. 3-5. This year’s youth production will be “Charlotte’s Web,” Joseph Robinette’s funny and poignant stage adaptation of E. B. White’s children’s classic about the unlikely friendship between a pig and a spider.

The 47th season will conclude Aug. 17-19 and 24-26 with “Farce of Habit,” Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten’s sequel to last summer’s popular Playhouse production of “Farce of Nature.” This time, Arkansas’ Reel ‘Em Inn is invaded by a group of nuns on a nature retreat, a severe storm and an ax murderer on the loose.

For all Playhouse productions, Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Reservations for all performances are available by calling or texting the Playhouse at 304-737-3344. Ticket prices for individual shows are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, and $7 for children for non-musicals, and $13 for adults, $11 for students and seniors and $9 for children for musicals.