The Full Monty

Get a bunch of men to pull down their pants, and you’re in for a solid night of entertainment. Common logic to some of us, sure, but who ever thought a tune-filled tale about unemployed steelworkers who strip for cash would prove so durably pleasing? Broadway’s adaptation of The Full Monty, the smash Brit indie film comedy from 1997, had a two-year, Tony-nominated run in New York beginning in 2000; it hit Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre with a rousing touring version in 2002; and last November, even a budget-strapped staging Balagan Theatre engaged SW critic Kevin Phinney (who praised its “character and heart”). Now Village Theatre is having a go at it with another cast of locals, and there’s no reason to believe the thrill is gone. Its locale transferred from Sheffield, England to Buffalo, New York by book writer Terrence McNally, the musical Monty loses little of the film’s underdog appeal. An observant pop score by David Yazbek keeps the blue-collar guys sounding amusingly like guys and, better, expands our empathy for how lousy it feels to be out of work and low on self-worth. The show’s a reliable tonic in these tough times. STEVE WIECKING

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 15. Continues through Nov. 21, 2010

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