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Fully Committed: Theater review by Adam Feldman
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.
Ferguson's performance is necessarily broad, and not always precise: a half-British accent creeps into several voices. But it hardly matters. The actor’s likability glazes his hamminess with sugar, and the play, while not very filling, can be enjoyed with few reservations.—Adam Feldman
Lyceum Theatre (Broadway). By Becky Mode. Directed by Jason Moore. With Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Running time: 1hr 20mins. No intermission.
Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam