Review: Fully Committed

Fully Committed Lyceum Theatre Jessie Tyler Ferguson FULLY COMMITTED - PRODUCTION CREDITS  Person Placeholder Becky Mode Playwright  Jason Moore Jason Moore Director  Derek McLane Derek McLane Scenic Design  Person Placeholder Sarah Laux Costume Design  Person Placeholder Ben Stanton Lighting Design  Jill Du Boff Jill BC Du Boff Sound Design  Person Placeholder Polk & Co. General Press Representative  Person Placeholder Matt Polk Press Representative  Person Placeholder Tom D'Ambrosio Press Representative  Person Placeholder Jeffrey Fauver Press Representative  Barbara Whitman Barbara Whitman Producer  Patrick Catullo Patrick Catullo Producer

Jesse Tyler Ferguson has always balanced sweet likability with just a dash of acidic bite, and both qualities serve him well in Fully Committed. He brings a lot of warmth when he plays the central character Sam, a reservationist at one of New York’s trendiest restaurants. He also plays all of the people calling the restaurant – more than 40 in all – and has plenty of opportunity to display that comedic acidity playing the more venomous callers. That sweetness and acidity come together deliciously when Sam slyly gets back at some of his oppressors.

Ferguson isn’t afraid to go over the top when the character calls for it, and throws himself into the whole affair with great energy and elan, but every moment stays rooted in reality. Director Jason Moore must surely take some credit for that as well – both the dynamism and rootedness.

Playwright Becky Mode has aimed at creating a generally light hearted satire, and has successful hit that target. Though the play premiered in 1999, Mode has updated it to be thoroughly in line with today’s culinary trends and pop culture. There are hints at more emotional depth when dealing with Sam’s recently widowed father, but it never gets so heavy that it bogs down what is clearly Fully Committed‘s main ambition: pure entertainment. High art this ain’t, but that doesn’t really matter. Recommended.

For tickets, click here.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.

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