Fully Committed
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Jeff Thomas

Fully Committed, now playing at Actors Theatre in Santa Rosa, is a high-energy comedy designed for one versatile actor to play almost 40 roles. Though at times it resembles a standup comedy routine written for Robin Williams, it is a complete play depicting a day in the life of Sam Peliczowski. Sam is a struggling actor forced to work the reservation line at Manhattanís number-one restaurant. The job is a frantic array of nonstop phone calls from an affluent status seeking or status gained clientele, ranging from Mrs. Vandevere to Carolann Rosenstein-Fishburn. One actor plays all of the clientele as well as the chef, maitre dí and other restaurant staff.

Two actors are sharing this one-person play on alternating nights. The night I attended, Argo Thompson, Actors Theatreís artistic director, played all parts. Kimberly Kalember plays alternate nights through the end of September.

Whatís most interesting about the play is how it depicts the life of a struggling actor in todayís world. Thereís something universal in Samís character. He could just as easily be a struggling writer, artist, composer or even someone trying to fulfill a dream outside the arts. Whatís important is that he always remains focused on his dream, no matter what his 9-5 job throws at him, and eventually finds creative ways to get his employer and restaurant clientele to help him achieve his dream. What the audience continually discovers is how hard Sam works in pursuit of his acting career and as an actor. Indeed, this is a role in a sort of play within a play that will cause any actor to work up a sweat, not only from memorizing and keeping track of so many lines and roles but also from physical movement on the stage.

Thompson did an excellent job drawing the audience in to Samís world in a very entertaining way. There is a wide range of comedy explored in Fully Committed, but primal bathroom humor seemed to get the most laughs.

This is a play you might consider seeing twice since each actor brings unique qualities to their multiple roles. For tickets or more information call (707) 523-4185 x 1 or visit www.actorstheatre.com.

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