Fully Committed BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • DEADLINE

  • VARIETY

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Opening Night:
April 25, 2016
Closing:
July 24, 2016

Theater: Lyceum Theatre / 149 West 45th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

You think you’re having a bad day? Meet Sam. He works the red‐hot reservation line at one of New York’s trendiest restaurants, where the best food inspires the worst behavior. Coercion, petty threats, bribes, histrionics—a cast of desperate callers, all brought to life by Ferguson, will stop at nothing to land a prime reservation, or the right table. Amid the barrage, Sam has his own problems to deal with. While juggling scheming socialites, name‐dropping wannabes, fickle celebrities and egomaniacal bosses, can he still manage to look out for himself?

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Fully Committed

    ‘Fully Committed,’ on How the Elite Dine, Has a Different Flavor Now

    Charles Isherwood

    April 25, 2016: As a struggling actor who earns a living taking reservations for one of Manhattan’s high-end food temples — once known as restaurants — Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the sole performer in Becky Mode’s “Fully Committed,” is a comic dynamo with seemingly endless energy. Bounding around the stage of the Lyceum Theater, where the play opened on Tuesday, he jousts with not one or two but three different phones, nearly sweating through his gingham shirt as he gives voice to more than 40 characters, among them the harried but even-tempered central character, Sam; an imperious French maître d’; a patronizing bully of a chef; a chipper assistant to Gwyneth Paltrow; a socialite with a manner even more imposing than her name; and a lively menagerie of other New York types. Mr. Ferguson, who began his career in the theater but sources his Broadway-headliner status from his role on ABC’s “Modern Family,” brings such warmth and variety to his performance that you may not notice that in the more than 15 years since the play opened Off Broadway, it has acquired a slightly sour aftertaste.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Fully Committed

    'Fully Committed' Theater review

    Adam Feldman

    April 25, 2016: Before he became a household name as the uptight Mitchell on "Modern Family," Jesse Tyler Ferguson was one of New York’s most inventive comic character actors. You can sense his delight at stretching those muscles in the Broadway revival of "Fully Committed," Becky Mode’s 1999 comedy about the power of entitlement. Ferguson plays Sam, a frustrated actor and harried reservationist at an ultra-trendy Manhattan restaurant. (The menu features edible dirt.) Over the course of 80 minutes, he also portrays some three dozen other people: a hilariously abusive frat-boy chef; a haughty French maître d’; a gentle Midwestern dad; the assistant of a Hollywood star with ludicrous demands; and, funniest of all, a monstrously aggressive regular named Carolann Rosenstein-Fishburn.

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Fully Committed

    ‘Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson Is Fully Committed (With Reservations)

    Jeremy Gerard

    April 25, 2016: His name is Sam. A headset is permanently attached to his skull as he ever-more frantically paces the double-digit square footage of his grotto lair. He’s mostly connected to the telephone with a half-dozen incessantly blinking lines clamoring and yammering for a reservation at the hot hot hot restaurant above. Sometimes he answers a sinister red wall phone over on a column, the direct line to Chef, a tomato foam-loving, sous-vide cooking, squid-ink bathing, uni-smearing sadist. Sometimes he answers his personal mobile phone, where his brother or father is begging him to take enough time off to come home for Christmas, or his agent — for he is of course an actor — explaining why he won’t be going up for that choice role. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the most-amiable Mitchell Pritchett of ABC’s "Modern Family" (five Emmy nominations for him) and a veteran clown of many a Free Shakespeare in the Central Park productions and the musical "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," plays Sam as well as everyone vying for Sam’s attention, in Becky Mode’s "Fully Committed." The title is restaurant-ese for, “No, I can’t get you into this exclusive spot tonight at 8 — or any night at 8 in the next six months, for that matter, no I don’t want your wife/daughter/first-born/husband/Apple shares/bit coin stash. Possibly your bitcoin stash, check back with me in a half hour.”

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Fully Committed

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson in ‘Fully Committed’

    Marilyn Stasio

    April 25, 2016: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the star of ABC’s “Modern Family,” takes his shot at “Fully Committed,” Becky Mode’s tour-de-force-for-solo-actor about the travails of a booking agent on the reservations desk at a trendy Manhattan restaurant. The 1999 play opened Off Broadway with Mark Setlock, who also collaborated in creating the play’s various colorful if unseen characters. Without bringing anything special to the role of the beleaguered reservations clerk, Ferguson’s performance should remind the industry why this clever trifle is among the ten most-produced plays in the country. There have been some smart nips and tucks to freshen up the material — although not to the point of acknowledging the existence of the Internet. References to once powerful movers and shakers like Sherry Lansing and Naomi Campbell are out. But Gwyneth Paltrow, who orders a “locally-sourced, no-fat, no-salt, no-dairy, no-sugar, no-chicken, no-meat, no-fish, no-soy, no-rice, no-foam, no-corn tasting menu” for 15 people — is a great substitute. As is Helen Mirren, whom the chef pronounces “hot.”

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Fully Committed

    'Modern Family' star Jesse Tyler Ferguson returns to Broadway in this one-person, multi-character play

    David Rooney

    April 25, 2016: In "Fully Committed," Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays Sam, the hapless staffer left to man the phone lines solo at the most in-demand high-end restaurant in Manhattan. Aided only by lightning-fast shifts of his voice and physical mannerisms, he also plays Sam's bosses and co-workers, as well as his family, friends and professional associates, and the constant stream of customers on the end of his phone line, lobbying vociferously for a table. The virtuoso performance is one that begs to be described as a comedic tour de force, and unquestionably, Ferguson's efforts command applause, as do those of director Jason Moore, who has provided almost non-stop business for the actor to juggle. But all that sweat somehow doesn't add up to much more than a string of sometimes-funny jokes in Becky Mode's one-person one-act about the ridiculous faddishness of high-end foodie culture. A downtown hit in 1999 that's been widely produced around the country and abroad ever since, the play doesn't lend itself to bloated Broadway treatment, no matter who is starring. So while it's easy to admire Derek McLane's elaborate set — a cluttered basement office beneath a sculptural tangle of dining chairs and a wall-size wine refrigerator — it's also impossible to escape the nagging feeling that this flippant satirical comedy is being swallowed up by its outsize production. I kept thinking it would be funnier in a 200-seat black box theater where it really was all about the mad skills of the actor.

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