Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fulfillment Center

With a name like this somehow you expect it to be it's namesake - fulfilling.  On the contrary, the play by Abe Koogler, performed on a too narrow runway stage by actors in ordinary street clothes falls flat , is empty, and the characters, all  but Suzan (Deirdre O'Connell), were UN-fulfilled and UN-fulfilling in their development and arc.  Suzan was the most deeply fleshed out character and, as played by Ms. O'Connell, the most juicy and emotionally satisfying of the lot.

A distribution center for a company in New Mexico is the host to this un-remarkable plot.  Alex (Bobby Moreno) and Madeleine (Eboni Booth) are not a couple you would expect.  Alex doesn't seem very smart although he went to B-School, and Madeleine doesn't seem very happy although she sees a therapist regularly (she' a stereotypical New Yorker).  Together they plod through their own un-fulfilling relationship as we wander forward.  Madeleine is the crossover link to John (Frederick Weller) a mysterious and vaguely fleshed out local.  Contrary to Alex, he once was smart, and now, after the ravages of drugs and alcohol (we are lead to believe) he isn't so much any more.  Played with aplomb by Mr. Weller, the character falls flat due to the lack of development and sheer mystery surrounding him.

Overall, this 80 minute play needs a bit more work to have any sort of impact.  The characters are ill-defined and by the time you get to the end of the play, much like Alex, you realize the failure that just unfolded in front of you.