|Dave Reinke (left) takes charge as union leader Reg Willoughby|
Desperate times call for desperate measures. But just how far would you go to earn money to take care of your children? This moral dilemma is at the center of The Full Monty, now playing at the Farmington Players through May 21. The show focuses on the plight of unemployed steel mill workers some 18 months after their plant closed in Buffalo.
Dave Reinke plays Reg Willoughby, the union leader who urges the men to do what they can to take care of themselves, rather than grousing about what their union can do for them. As Dave says, “having been divorced, a single father of three kids, I can relate to the struggles that the men go through.” And like Reg, “I have faced unemployment a couple of times. Just a sign of the times in Detroit.”
In The Full Monty, things start to get interesting when some of the men decide to become strippers – like Chippendale dancers – to make some quick cash. When Reg auditions as a complete amateur, Dave embraces the role completely: “The challenge is I had to create my own striptease as I audition to be a part of the Monty Men. It was a lot of fun but also challenging.” Reg’s sincere, awkward, failed attempt at a striptease is one of the audience’s favorite moments of the show. It is so bad, it is good.
As Dave says, “the show has a warm heart at the center of all the fun. A group of unemployed steelworkers overcome fear, self-consciousness, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness to become the most unlikely group of exotic dancers. Often, musicals tend to depict a story and characters that are larger than life in surreal situations. But, this show is about ‘us’ – real people in real situations facing real issues forced to decide on the best solutions for them. It's a beautiful story that challenges the heart. A show that ‘strips’ down all defenses and demonstrates that family is first.”
Dave has been active as a Barn member for 13 years both on and off stage. Next season, he will be directing the Jeff Daniels comedy, The Vast Difference. Dave worked on the original production in 1993 when he was an apprentice at the Purple Rose Theatre Company.
The Farmington Players production of The Full Monty is proudly sponsored by TruVista Wealth Management, but all remaining performances are sold out.