2022-23 season

2022-23 season

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dave Reinke Grins and Bares It as Reg in The Full Monty

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.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Becky Fisher Strikes Comedy Gold as Zesty Jeanette in Full Monty

Becky Fisher steals the rehearsal scene as Jeanette Burmeister in her Barn debut
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then Becky Fisher must be bursting to be back on stage. As she says, “I was actually a stay-at-home Mom for over 20 years, and took years off from the theater as well. When it was time to return to my career, and to performing, it would be an understatement to say I did so with gusto!”  Similarly, Becky’s character in The Full Monty has an infectious enthusiasm for the stage.  Becky plays Jeanette Burmeister, who she describes as a “wisecracking chain-smoking piano player, who just shows up at auditions ... ‘piano and all’! Bored with just ‘sitting and rocking’, Jeanette’s heart beats faster when she hears ‘some boys from the old mill are putting on a show.’ Given the opportunity to come out of retirement, Jeanette says, ‘I haven’t milked my last cow yet’, and jumps at the chance.”

Although she’s a newcomer to the Farmington Players, Becky is quite familiar with The Full Monty, having performed in the ensemble of a production several years ago.  In fact, it is the only show she’s ever repeated.  Why?  Because “The Full Monty is the epitome of a feel-good show; for the performers as well as the audience. Many people mistakenly think The Full Monty is nothing more than a voyeuristic opportunity to leer at naked men, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. This show is so much more than that. It’s about friendship and working toward a common goal. It’s about loving your family so much, you’ll consider doing something *way* outside of your comfort zone. It’s about pulling yourself up out of desperate situations. It’s about the journey being more important than the destination.”

Becky is a natural when it comes to comedy, but playing Jeanette does present some challenges.  As she says, “This part is a blast to play, but a challenge vocally, because Jeanette is a low alto … and I’m a soprano! An even bigger challenge is maintaining Jeanette’s deadpan persona, since The Full Monty is filled with so very many hilarious scenes. It’s one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. If you enjoyed the British movie, you will love the musical.”

Some of Becky’s favorite stage roles include “Sally” in Follies, “Muriel” in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and “Emma Goldman” in Assassins (all at Birmingham Village Players), as well as “Parthy” in Show Boat, “Ma Strong” in Urinetown, “Patricia Fodor” in Crazy for You, and one of the Liebeslieder Singers in A Little Night Music (all at Stagecrafters). When she is not the husky-voiced Jeanette, Becky sings soprano in a professional a Capella group. By day, Becky works in the area of Grants & Funding.

The 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 boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or 248-553-2955.