Fully Committed-Ross Valley Players

Fully Committed - a prizewinning play by Becky Mode

Fully Committed is presented by the Ross Valley Players (Ross, California), and they are now in their 78th Season. The group has been known to offer a wide array of plays superbly performed in authentic settings and in a non-plastic theater (The Barn Theater) which provides for hightened ambience. This play has only one character and the play represents one of the most extraordinary feats a single actor can undertake with respect to performing, timing, and changing of 39 characters who have strikingly different personalities and cultural backgrounds. And we have all come across and can all identify with these characters. In the end we get a heartwarming feeing and it reminds us of what we’ve all gone through in life at some time or another. The play is about an aspiring actor reluctantly supporting himself by working in a trendy restaurant in New York's upper east side having to take constant phone call reservations (as well as dealing with calls to and from the chef, other workers, his father, brother, and competitive friend). This is not just a hilarious play-it is also a crafted study of a very unselfish, caring and accommodating person who is confronted with an array of so many different personalities, cultures and needs of other people. It is actually a universal play which is based on the psychology of humanity in all its forms grabbing the audience with sparkling humor and compassion. Directed by Argo Thompson who no doubt gives the actor the room and license to be creative, is apparent in the two different actors alternating in performances of the play. Fully Committed a one-man play that you crave to see interpreted many times with different actors. I am still in awe of how an actor can portray so many different characters and continually be able to resort back to his own base character. Both Dan Saski and Justin Scheuer are seasoned actors and they give strikingly different but engrossing renditions of Sam in the play. Dan gives a more direct and polished performance of Sam but don’t let that make you think that Justin’s rendition is poorer—with Justin we identify that Sam is quite real and as a result you see his frailty and human shortcomings blossom with greater latitude. It is interesting to note that although the characters are the same, many of the cultures and accents are different when played by the different actors. Dan is more consistent in his delivery but Justin renders more hilarious episodes with his own character as well as with the others. In any event, both renditions are well worth seeing and the uninterrupted 90 minutes goes by very fast and surprisingly even faster the second time around when Justin plays the role of Sam. It should be noted that this one man show is pulled off so eloquently because of the meticulous assistance of the sound (with precisely timed phone rings) and light operators (creating just the right changes of colors) Rusty Taylor and Megan O’Hefferman.
In short this is a one-man play requiring a tremendous amount of talent and actor timing and it is executed by both actors with engrossing and eloquent performances.
The next performances with Dan are from 8/9-812 and 8/16-8/19
and with Justin from 8/2-8/5. Try to catch both performances and you will be in for a real treat!

Visit www.rossvalleyplayers.com for more details, schedule and location or call 415-456-9555.
Sunday, July 29, 2007