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Emerging Artist Exhibition 2018

The Best Thing You Can Do Today (or This Weekend): See Alan Mohney play 40 roles in Fully Committed at Early Bird

It makes perfect sense in a way: a dinner theater presenting a play about… dinner! Or rather, about dinner reservations. The hit comedy Fully Committed centers on a harried reservationist at an uber-hot Manhattan restaurant, with one actor playing not only the put-upon gatekeeper, Sam, but 39 other characters as well, including imperious socialites,  a demanding celebrity chef, the very animated assistant to a very famous supermodel, and multiple friends, family members and co-workers.

The role of Sam requires an actor of tremendous versatility — Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family fame played it on Broadway in 2016 — and Early Bird has found just the right man for the job in Alan Mohney Jr. Under the crisp direction of Patrick Brafford, Mohney is a treat to watch, his comic timing and nimble physicality enabling him to switch with ease from one character to another. (Full disclosure: I had the pleasure of appearing with Alan, with Patrick as director, in two productions at Gulfport Community Theatre.)

And think of it this way: If you see Fully Committed at Early Bird, you won’t have to worry about calling Sam for dinner reservations. The meal — a buffet of Virginia ham, roast beef, chicken, salmon, meatballs, vegetables, salad bar and choice of dessert, with a full bar available — is already right there in the room! The show runs through Oct. 28, with performances at 11 a.m. Thursdays (that’s this morning, better hurry!) and Saturdays, and 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Call (727) 446-5898 for ticket, um, reservations. Early Bird is located at 13355 49th St N. in Clearwater.

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