Stale Dish

Fully Committed by Becky Mode, originally directed by Nicholas Martin and restaged by Daniel Goldstein, with Mark McKinney. Presented by.


Fully Committed by Becky Mode, originally directed by Nicholas Martin and restaged by Daniel Goldstein, with Mark McKinney. Presented by Spoke Productions at the Winter Garden (189 Yonge). Runs to November 25, Tuesday-Friday 8 pm, Saturday 5 and 8 pm, Sunday 3 and 7 pm. $28.50-$57, limited rush. 416-872-5555. Rating: NN

here’s a play where pagers and cellphones going off would actually be welcome. Fully Committed, the off-Broadway hit starring former Kid in the Hall Mark McKinney, is such a noisy, clunky, unsubtle piece of theatre that a few innocent beeps and rings in the audience would complement the dozens of dull onstage phone-ringings and conversations. The 90-minute solo show chronicles a day in the life of out-of-work actor Sam, who fields reservations at a four-star Manhattan restaurant. Stuck in the trendy spot’s basement, he copes (on the phone) with the massive egos around him, including hopeful diners, the celebrity chef and his acting agent’s assistant.

The satire feels week-old. And insulting. Targets include Japanese tourists, effeminate gay men and unattractive women. This used to be called bigotry.

What distinguishes the script is its utter lack of place, time and character. A couple of worthy themes — about fostering a sense of entitlement — aren’t developed, and a back story about being home for Christmas feels fake and sentimental.

None of this is McKinney’s fault. He’s required to mimic dozens of people, and his quickly sketched impressions and verbal dexterity are awesome.

But he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself. Like Sam, he’s overworked, doing too much at once. I hope he’s getting paid well.

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