Season’s greetings! The Alley Theatre in downtown Houston is taking reservations for Becky Mode’s delectable comedy Fully Committed, now playing onstage in their Neuhaus Theatre through December 29th. The play, directed by Brandon Weinbrenner, features an impressively dynamic performance by Dylan Godwin as Sam, the unfortunate soul who gets stuck as the lone person manning the reservation line at one of NYC’s hottest restaurants when his co-workers (also played by Godwin) don’t show up for work. His boss (Godwin again) is an egotistical celebrity chef who cooks for Presidents, specializes in molecular gastronomy, and charges $250 per meal per person with reservations fully booked (“fully committed”) for months. The phone rings constantly and Sam deals with a never-ending assortment of bougie socialites, fickle celebrities, and self-important anglers trying to get a table on short notice during the busy holiday season. All of these characters are hilariously articulated by (wait for it…) Dylan Godwin.
Godwin plays every character in Fully Committed, over 40 in all, and he does so with aplomb. There are no wardrobe changes. Godwin relies on his expressions, body language, and voice to bring the characters to life and he filters through them seamlessly like a chameleon rapidly transforming in front of the audience. One moment he’s Sam, the aspiring actor dealing with the frustrations of his day job, the next he’s Sam’s “friend,” a fellow actor calling to brag about his audition at Lincoln Center, the next he’s a slithery elderly woman claiming the restaurant lost her reservation, the next he’s Sam’s dad, calling to see what Sam’s Christmas plans are, and the next he’s Bryce, Gwyneth Paltrow’s assistant, calling to discuss the menu (“no legumes”) and the color temperature of the lighting in the dining room.
The dialogue is rapidly paced and Godwin delivers it while executing a physical performance that requires lots of movement and running around. The play is a breezy hour and 15 minutes with no intermission, but Godwin is “on” for the entirety and his talents are on full display throughout. The memorization skills alone are staggering and despite the breakneck pace, and all the different characters, Godwin never missed a beat. I enjoyed him previously in Alley’s productions of The Three Musketeers (as King Louis XIII) and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (as Albert Einstein), but Fully Committed presented a different challenge entirely and it was fun to see him excel. One might say that when it comes to acting, Dylan Godwin is (wait for it…) fully committed.
Fully Committed is recommended for ages 14 and up.
Tickets are available online or by phone at 713 220 5700.
Check out Dylan Godwin in action! Photographs by Lynn Lane.
About the Alley Theatre:
The Alley Theatre, one of America’s leading nonprofit theatres, is a nationally recognized performing arts company led by Artistic Director Rob Melrose and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden. The Alley produces at least 16 plays each year in its newly renovated Theatre, ranging from the best current work, to re-invigorated classic plays, to new plays by contemporary writers. The Alley is home to a Resident Acting Company. In addition, the Alley engages theatre artists of every discipline – actors, designers, composers, playwrights – who work on individual productions throughout each season as visiting artists. The 2015 renovation of the Alley’s Hubbard Theatre created a new 774-seat state-of-the-art performance venue. Matched with the newly rebuilt 296-seat Neuhaus Theatre, the Alley offers nearly 500 performances each season. The Alley Theatre reaches over 200,000 people each year through its performance and education programs. Its audience enrichment programs include pre-show and post-performance talks, events, and workshops for audience members of all ages.
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