Sunday, December 23, 2012

QUICK TAKE REVIEW Involuntary Commitment By Beverly Creasey

The laughter is purely involuntary. You can’t help yourself. Dozens of wacky characters conspire to have you in stitches in New Repertory Theatre’s outrageous FULLY COMMITTED (playing through Dec. 30th). Gabriel Kuttner reprises his astonishing, award winning performance of two years ago as all the staff, diners (and more) at Becky Mode’s fictitious four-star, very expensive New York restaurant.

Director Bridget Kathleen O’Leary cleverly edges the dingy office where Sam fields reservations into a tight, little corner of the New Rep downstairs space, making us painfully aware of Sam’s lack of wiggle room, in every sense of the phrase. Even before the play starts, Deb Sullivan’s set tells us this job is no picnic.

Poor Sam is at the mercy of an imperious chef, unreliable co-workers and unrelenting phone calls. The entitled rich do not recognize ‘no’ for an answer when Sam explains that they are fully booked. He calmly accepts insult after insult and soldiers on. He’s kind to elderly ladies with complaints and he endures endless instructions for celebrities: “No dairy, no fat, no soy, no sugar, no salt” and would you believe “no female wait staff!”

Kuttner is hilarious as an eighty year old dowager one second and as a back biting, condescending French Maitre D (Is there any other kind?) the next. Just pulling off the character switches is a feat of strength and Kuttner does it brilliantly. FULLY COMMITTED is a must see. Make your reservation before it’s fully booked!