By Lauren Yarger
Looking for a fun way to spend an evening out this summer? You might think about trying Manhattan’s world renowned, red hot restaurant where anyone who is anyone wants a table.
Or you could have a lot more fun being Fully Committed and enjoying the action at such a restaurant from its basement with reservation specialist Sam (“Modern Family’s” Jesse Tyler Ferguson).
In the Broadway revival of Becky Mode’s hysterical one- man show, Ferguson portrays some 40 characters interacting with Sam on the busy restaurant reservations line located in the dilapidated basement of the restaurant (and designed in shabby detail by Derek McLane).
Among those competing for Sam’s attention are a hooky-playing coworker, the chef, the maître d, the hostess, the reservations specialist and numerous customers vying to be seen at the happening eatery where seats are scarce as people vie to sample the chef's trademarked “molecular gastronomy.” In fact, the restaurant is “fully committed” – a swanky way of saying sold out – for months in advance.
That doesn’t stop them from trying, though. I mean who wouldn’t want to dine out on dishes like “crispy deer lichen atop a slowly deflating scent-filled pillow, dusted with edible dirt” or “A nitro-frozen shaved foie gras enshrouded in a liquid chicken-filled orb?”
Among the characters calling are a mobster, uppity socialites who feel entitled, Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal assistant who keeps phoning to make sure Sam notes all of her ridiculous requirements for being seen dining at the restaurant, a Southern belle who drips charm while threatening a bad Yelp review if she doesn't get a reservation time and even Sam’s lonely dad, who calls on his son’s cell phone occasionally to check in.
The calls, messages and catastrophes come fast and furious leaving a stranded Sam without time for a bathroom break, or ironically, a chance to eat any food– until someone does the unthinkable in the toilet and Sam is tapped to go clean it up.
It’s a very funny 90 minutes without intermission with a good combination of script and a performer who is spot on with the fast pace and all of the various voices and personalities for the plethora of characters.
Fully Committed and Jesse Tyler Ferguson reserve the right to make you laugh through July 31 at the Lyceum Theatre, 149 West 45thSt., NYC. Performances are Monday and Tuesday at 7 pm; Wednesday- Saturday at 8 pm; Saturday at 2 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $45-$147: fullycommittedbroadway.com; (212) 239-6200.
Costume Design by Sarah Laux, Lighting Design by Ben Stanton , Sound Design by Darron L West, Original Music by Jeff Richmond.