CATCO’s current production of the play Fully Committed offers an entertaining look at the stresses of working in customer service, an experience that many in the audience will probably be able to relate to. From bitter bosses to annoying coworkers to crazy customers, it’s a play that shows the extremes of customer service and brings hilarity into an otherwise frustrating situation.
Taking place at the reservation call-in desk in the basement of a New York City restaurant, Fully Committed shows one day in the life of Sam, an actor trying to make his way in the big city. To pay the bills, he’s working at the reservation desk in this restaurant, dealing with frustrating customers and colorful coworkers. With Christmas coming up, he’s also trying to get the holiday off in order to visit his recently widowed father, but the chef of the restaurant is being less than accommodating.
What’s most impressive about Fully Committed is that it’s a one-man show. Jeff Horst not only plays Sam, but also personifies each and every character who Sam talks through via the phone and restaurant intercom system. Each character is distinct, making the story much easier to follow that you might imagine with the number of personalities that appear throughout the one act play. It’s fascinating to watch Horst switch seamlessly from character to character, taking on not only the characters’ voices, but also their mannerisms.
Fully Committed is fast-paced, with quick and witty dialogue and staging that is nothing short of amazing. Horst uses the entire stage by himself, usually running from one phone to the other within seconds. At one moment, he even leaps over the desk that is part of the set. And while it’s all very entertaining, you have no choice but to root for Sam’s character to overcome the various challenges that he faces—from audition blues to cleaning bathrooms to very frustrating interactions with customers and coworkers.
CATCO’s Fully Committed is definitely a play you’ll want to see, particularly if you’ve ever worked in a customer service related job.