None other than Balki will be balancing an insane group of perfect strangers who wish to dine at a swanky restaurant in the Windy City. Bronson Pinchot takes the lead (and only) role in Becky Mode's hit comedy Fully Committed, beginning its run at Chicago's Royal George Theatre March 15 (not March 12, as originally announced). Opening night is March 18.
Starting out as Sam, the stressed, out-of-work actor-cum-reservations clerk at the city's hottest four-star restaurant, Pinchot portrays not only the eatery's staff (including the head chef, described by the New York Times as "Hannibal Lechter in kitchen whites'), but also a series of outrageous guests clamoring for a table. These patrons run the gamut from killer Mafiosi and rich old ladies to supermodels and Wall Street tycoons.
Pinchot has recently done some time in New York theatre, playing Autolycus in Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale with the Public Theatre and the Observer in the Broadway staging of Putting It Together. He may be best known, however, for the role of Balki in the popular TV series, "Perfect Strangers," and for his brief, but memorable work in "Beverly Hills Cop."
Becky Mode crafted Fully Committed for actor Mark Setlock, whose real life experiences as an out-of-work actor desperately trying to find tables at a trendy Manhattan restaurant were the basis for her play. Other credits include writing for TV's "Cosby," HBO, Nickelodeon and Disney.
Director Nicholas Martin was recently named artistic director of the Huntington Theatre in Boston, a role he assumed in fall 2000. He won the 1999 Obie Award for Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and also directed Bosoms and Neglect at the Signature and Full Gallop. Fully Committed first opened Off-Broadway Sept. 30, 1999, with fully-committed reviews, extending, at the time, through Oct. 30 at the Vineyard. The show then moved to the Cherry Lane Theatre, where it continues to run with Christopher Fitzgerald in the role.
Fully Committed is now booking through May 27 in Chicago. Tickets are $45-$35. The Royal George Theatre Center is located at 1641 N. Halsted. For reservations, call (312) 988-9000.
— By Christine Ehren