Fully Committed – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If ever there were a person who could effectively use the eight arms of an octopus, it would be Sam the out- of- work actor who takes the tedious job of reservation agent at a trendy Manhattan restaurant. It’s the Christmas season and everyone and anyone wants a coveted table for themselves to see and be seen. Sam, played effectively and convincingly by the talented Matt Densky, has the dubious honor of fielding the requests as to who is worthy of a chair and table.

This is a one man show where the lead actor plays somewhere between thirty and forty roles, all delightfully, from the bombastic chef to the numerous actors, V.I.P.s, tourists, even Mafia dons who call incessantly wanting to dine. A hearty welcome back to Music Theater of Connecticut of Norwalk for being one of the first locations to offer live theater during the pandemic. Hallelujah!

You have the unique and pleasurable opportunity to witness this event first hand in Becky Mode’s challenging comedy “Fully Committed.”

Of course, the smaller the portions the bigger the price tag and the more unusual the offerings created daily by the Chef, who is temperamental to the extreme, the more desirable they seem. Sam has to be a master juggler to answer the multiple phones and confess the eatery is booked at least three months in advance, hence the comment about being “fully committed.”

Playwright Becky Mode has nailed with pinpoint accuracy the craziness and caginess of the customers who seek a reserved table at the current hot spot. Densky plays them all, insiders like the egotistical chef and snide maitre ‘d and outsiders like Gwyneth Paltrow’s fawning assistant and demanding Mafia men who are willing to pay extravagantly to get a table. Densky assumes all the mannerisms and accents as he balances family, friends, acting competitors and wannabe customers of the chichi global fusion cuisine his restaurant specializes in serving.

Sam fields phone calls like a pro, handles messy emergencies without breaking too much of a sweat and ends up satisfying most of his contacts as the jolly Christmas spirit adds a little more urgency to his multi-tasking. Kevin Connors directs this behind the scenes romp into restaurant ramekins and rigors, on a detailed restaurant basement set designed by Jessie Lizotte, while Jim Schilling serves as stage manager.

For tickets ($35-65), call Music Theater of CT, 509 Westport Avenue, Route 1, Norwalk at 203-454-3883. Performances are weekends until September 27, Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in a safe socially distanced environment. If you prefer, you can watch the performance from your home by streaming, for $25. Now is the time to plan to see a dramatic play about Robert Kennedy, the years 1964-68, “RFK,” October 23-November 8 and, just in time for the holidays, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” December 11-20.

Reserve a V. I. P. seat for this hectic holiday hilarity as Sam the man tries to fill requests from the sublime to the ridiculous.

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