By Janee Law
Ten-time Tony Award nominee “The Full Monty” is bringing plenty of laughs to Northport village’s John W. Engeman Theater.
The venue was roaring with laughter during Saturday night’s show, causing audience member Rose Santopietro, of Northport, to call it “better than Broadway.”
The witty line delivery of Dave Bukatinsky (played by Ryan G. Dunkin), the introduction of the spunky Jeanette Burmeister (Diane Findlay) and the dance number of Noah “Horse” T. Simmons (Milton Craig Nealy) in “Big Black Man” can’t be missed, Santopietro added.
The production’s creative team, including director Keith Andrews, choreographer Antoinette Dipietropolo and musical director Andrew Haile Austin, meanwhile supplies a mix of harmonious melodies for the cast to perform.
The story focuses on friends Jerry Lukowski (Brent Michael Diroma) and Dave, who witness their wives’ enthusiasm for the popular touring company, Chippendales. They decide to gather a group of six men to put on a strip act after losing their jobs as buffalo steelworkers. Leading up to the big night, the group of six work through their fears, anxieties and find strength in their camaraderie.
The closing number of the show was one of audience members Santopietro and Rose Pascale, both of Merrick, favorite scenes.
“It was done elegantly with great taste,” Pascale said. “I absolutely loved it. If you need to be lifted, this will lift you right up.”
Both Santopietro and Pascale said their favorite characters were Jerry, “Horse” and Jeanette.
“They were so natural,” Pascale said. “You’ve got to go see it. Matter of fact, I’m going home and calling a few of my friends.”
Playing the lead role of Jerry, Brent Michael Diroma said his favorite scene is the hysterical bathroom scene, in which Jerry and Dave hide in a stall and overhear a conversation between Georgie Bukatinsky (Nicole Hale), Dave’s wife, and Jerry’s ex-wife, Pam Lukowski. The scene serves as a means to “set up all the relationships right out of the gate, and it’s a blast,” Diroma said.
Considering what his role entails, Diroma said the role isn’t nerve-racking.
“To a certain point, the six of us build this sort of camaraderie to where we’re doing it as a band of brothers, and we’re doing it together so it doesn’t feel weird,” he said. “If they put one of us on the stage, we probably couldn’t do it.”
Show times for “The Full Monty” at John W. Engeman Theater (250 Main St., Northport) are 8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturdays; and 2 p.m., Sundays. Some Wednesday and Sunday evening shows are also available. Tickets range $71-$76 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Engemantheater.com. The show runs through March 5.