|Michael Rea as Dave Bukatinsky: Before there was Spanx, there was ... Saran Wrap?|
PHOTO by Anne Craft
For an actor, sometimes the toughest roles to play are those that hit close to home. While “method” actors like to channel real life experiences to shape their character’s emotions, separating yourself from your stage persona can get complicated at times. In the Farmington Players production of The Full Monty, Michael Rea plays Dave Bukatinsky, who he describes as “jovial and fun-loving, but he has to face some serious demons: his weight, his depression and anxiety over being out of work, his sometimes complicated relationship with his best friend, Jerry. By the end, he finds the self-confidence that had been pretty hard to come by. Exploring these ups and downs and being alternately strong and vulnerable is what I love most about playing Dave.”
Like Dave, Michael can relate to “struggling with weight, depression and self-doubt. And having a wife who supports you through your lowest lows. I have been Dave many times in my life.” Michael has been enjoying the process of becoming Dave – he’s even “stepped up to the plate” to gain several pounds for the role – and he has no qualms about baring more than his soul onstage, saying, “How many times in your life to you get an opportunity to do something like this?” Michael knows that audiences will love The Full Monty because “the whole show is hilarious. The production quality is really high. Everything about this show is just fun. The story is about figuring out how to believe in yourself, and that is pretty timeless. As for everybody else involved in the show, WOW what a talented group. All I can do is work my ass off trying to keep up. I am having so much fun and I can't wait until opening night.”
Michael grew up in Clawson and now lives in Livonia. He’s 38 and holds two engineering degrees. When he’s not working or rehearsing, he says, “It's all about family. And occasionally karaoke and really good beer.” Farmington Players production of The Full Monty is proudly sponsored by TruVista Wealth Management. The show is definitely R-rated for sexually suggestive content and language. There are 12 performances from April 29 – May 21. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by contacting the Barn box office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-553-2955.