Urban Hip Movements

**The hero of Fully Committed would probably find that Queens restaurant in Contact rather restful. He works for one of those overpriced flavor-of-the-month East Side joints, booking over the phone the tables every celebrity and CEO would kill for, at least until the buzz decrees that this chef has lost his touch, and the squab in fennel sauce has mysteriously lost its savor. Sam the reservation-taker, however, has other issues on his mind, like, will he ever get an acting job and escape from the triple-barreled bullying of the arrogant chef, the captious headwaiter, and the work-avoiding colleagues whose fuckups and alibis keep Sam hopping.

Mark Setlock in Fully Committed: Is he booking the tables, or turning them?
photo: Carol Rosegg
Mark Setlock in Fully Committed: Is he booking the tables, or turning them?

They all duly get their comeuppance, while Sam gets not only that big role he wanted at Lincoln Center (dancing in Contact?), but some unexpected pocket money and Christmas week off to see his ailing dad too. He has to go through some shit to get there, but as he's played by Mark Setlock, under Nicholas Martin's direction, with such appealing ease and energy, you can't help rooting for him. Setlock also supplies the voices of everyone Sam talks to, rarely slipping as he skips with manic blitheness from one role to the next in Becky Mode's slyly piled-up rush of incoming calls. If Fully Committed has a flaw, it's the glib overriding notion that whatever you really want in New York can be had only by exchanging favor for favor. Would Bernie Gersten really get someone a role at the Beaumont in return for a table in some snob eatery? I must call him. Bernie, baby, the folks at the Metro Diner are pals of mine; you and Cora can sit anywhere you want. Now about my latest translation...

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