Jesse Tyler Ferguson will return to Broadway this season, starring in Fully Committed, Becky Mode’s one-man comedy about a harried staffer manning the reservations phone line for a red-hot New York restaurant.
The show will begin performances on April 2 at the Lyceum Theatre, with official opening night set for April 25, one day before the cutoff date for 2016 Tony Awards eligibility. The limited engagement is scheduled to run through July 24.
The production marks Ferguson’s first Broadway role since his sitcom breakout in Modern Family, which has earned him five Emmy nominations. While the actor has appeared frequently in recent seasons in the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park summer productions, his last Broadway run was in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, in 2005-06.
Also returning after an extended hiatus from New York theater is director Jason Moore, a Tony nominee in 2004 for Avenue Q, whose most recent Broadway gig was staging Shrek: The Musical in 2008. Moore in the meantime has been directing features and TV, notably the first Pitch Perfect movie and the upcoming Tiny Fey-Amy Poehler comedy, Sisters.
Ferguson will take on more than 40 different characters in Fully Committed, which was first staged in New York in 1999 and will be updated by Mode for the new production to reflect the city’s ever-evolving foodie and restaurant culture. The central role is reservations clerk Sam, who juggles his own needs with those of demanding bosses, megalomaniacal chefs and a constant stream of socialites, celebrities and suits, all angling to score a table.
The play’s characters were developed by Mode and Mark Setlock, based on their experiences working in the upscale restaurant sector.
Lead producers on the show are Barbara Whitman and Patrick Catullo, both of whom previously worked with Ferguson as producers on Spelling Bee.