• Staci

A cast of one that fills the stage

I'll be honest: When I first read about FULLY COMMITTED, a one-man show, I was skeptical. I mean, how entertaining could be be to watch one guy perform for nearly an hour and a half?

Turns out, the answer to that question is this: astoundingly entertaining!

Gavin Crawford mesmerizes on stage as he skillfully brings to life no fewer than 40 characters to life in this 80-minute exploration of something most of us never get to see: what goes on behind the scenes of a trendy restaurant.

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Gavin plays Sam, who is in charge of manning the phones at an award-winning, ultra-hip restaurant. Each time the phones ring, the person on the other end of the line is either a celebrity A-lister looking for an impossible reservation (the restaurant is, after all, "fully committed"), the cantankerous chef barking an order, Sam's father, or any one of dozens of other colourful characters. And each and every one is played by Gavin.

The way Gavin brings each of these distinct characters -- from Gwenyth Paltrow's assistant to a mafia boss -- to life is truly mind boggling to watch. Far from being just a matter of changing his voice, each character is delineated by Gavin's changing up of his facial expressions, mannerisms, and even location on stage. I kept saying to myself (and to my companion once or twice, too) How does he keep track of all of that? Truly amazing.

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Aside from the logistics of memorizing and keeping track of each of these unique characters, FULLY COMMITTED is a thoroughly entertaining show. The audience suffers along with Sam at the unrealistic demands made by the ultra-elite on the other end of the line, commiserate alongside him as he tries to keep everyone -- including his difficult boss -- happy, and completely goes along for the entire unforgettable romp through the underbelly of the restaurant business.

In a nutshell, FULLY COMMITTED is a show every adult should see. It runs from now until January 26 on the Grand Theatre's Spriet Stage. Get your tickets online here or by calling the box office at (519) 672-8800.

Don't miss it! And whatever you do, never, EVER take a reservation for Ned Findlay.

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