"The Full Monty" offers something of an unspoken promise to those who have come to the theater hoping to see a group of recently unemployed steelworkers bare it all in their new jobs as male strippers.

Of course, the question raised in the Tri-Valley Repertory Theater production, opening Saturday in Livermore's Bankhead Theater, may be more simple -- will the ex-Buffalo, N.Y., steelworkers go the full monty and simply climb up on stage in the guise of male strippers?

That will all be revealed at the end of the TVRT production. Company officials are suggesting an R rating for the show, but that could simply be for excess body hair. You can bet, though, the audience will be buzzing toward the end in anticipation of the full monty.

At least that's what happened at every other production of the show, based on an English movie about the same subject, transferred to Buffalo for American audiences when the tale became a musical. I have witnessed various degrees of exposure in the productions I've seen over the years, and I'm still not sure if I've seen it all, or just witnessed various degrees of special effects.

Beyond that, though is a musical that is funny and touching as the men fight with inner and outer demons on their trip to the stage door. They confront body-image questions more familiar to women than men, they fret over their traditional role as breadwinner, and when it comes right down to it there are frightened about just how they'll find a way to bring in enough dough for the family's next loaf. And, as a more dire reason, one of the fellas is behind on his child support and forms the group as a last-ditch effort to earn some money.


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There isn't enough work around Buffalo for steelworkers, there isn't much stuff ex-steelworkers can do there, and, on the other hand, they've seen how much their wives and girlfriends enjoy the male strip shows when traveling boy 'teasers visit town. So what could be better than showing 'em what the local talent can do?

Of course, that has to be traded against whether they have the guts and figures for the job. The American version uses basically the same story as the British film, but here the book has been written by Terrence McNally and the music by David Yazbek. "The Full Monty" ran for about two years on Broadway and has had a successful afterlife as a favorite for regional and community theater productions.

The show plays through Feb 3 in the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St. Livermore. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets, at $38, can be reserved at 925-373-6800 or on line at www.livermoreperformingarts.org.

EXPECTING ELIZABETH: The comedy by Lisa Loomer opens Friday at Role Players Ensemble Theatre in Danville.

The show a modern comedy about a couple trying to conceive, plays at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays in the Village Theatre at 233 Front St. in Danville.

"Expecting Elizabeth" centers on a couple living in a Manhattan apartment who decide to have a baby. But because that have some difficulty conceiving, they find themselves in the midst of an industry eager to help -- fertility specialists, self-help books, support groups, adoption agencies and, perhaps above it all, their own families.

Tickets to the show cost $20 to $28 and can be reserved at 925-314-3400 or www.villagetheatreshows.com.