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Fully Committed

a Comedy
CATEGORY :
by Becky Mode

COMPANY : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
ID# 1429

SHOWING : October 05, 2005 - November 13, 2005

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Bill Murphey stars in this encore production, playing over 20 characters as he is bombarded with phone calls and a too-too trendy New York Restaurant.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Alan Kilpatrick
Sam, et al. Bill Murphey
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Over Committed
by Dedalus
Monday, November 14, 2005
3.0
Theatre-in-the-Square’s 2001 production of Becky Mode’s “Fully Committed” was one of the first productions for which I posted a review here. At the time, I gave it five stars, praising its tour-de-farce performance by Bill Murphey and its short running time.

This season, the production has been moved to T²’s Main Stage, with its one-man cast and design team intact. The move isn’t exactly smooth.

While still highly entertaining (and short), the play now comes across as a one-note sketch, contemporary references not hiding a certain dated quality. Yes, it’s fun to laugh at the caricatures on display and the allusions to super-hip, super-exclusive restaurants, but are they really that common outside of New York City? What came across four years ago as amusing portraits of eccentric characters, now screams caricature with little or no existence in our own experience.

The move is also a stretch in scale. What came across in the Alley Theatre as a cramped basement trying the crush the spirit of Phone-Man Sam, is now large, airy, and spacious, with side trips to the “red phone” taking more time than necessary, and some superfluous blocking created only to fill the space. What flew with a mantic pace in 2001, plods along at a leisurely stroll in 2005.

And Bill Murphey, still stretching in every direction with an enormous roster of characterizations, is nonetheless losing some edge. Characters are a little more indistinct, with some mannerisms repeating with different people (the effeminate arm in the air for both “Bryce” and the Agent’s Secretary, for example). Some of his vocal characterizations also come across as too similar. It’s hardly a lazy performance, and it’s still miles ahead of what I (or most other actors) could do. But, I couldn’t help wondering if maybe Mr. Murphey has gone down these roads a few too many times, and is letting familiarity breed repetition.

Still, it’s a pleasant (and still short 1:15) in the theatre, and maybe it’s just me who has let the play become too familiar. Mr. Murphey is a force of nature, and attacks the play with verve and style. I just can’t help wondering if it’s a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)
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CLOSING SOON
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