Fulfillment Center
Closed 1h 40m
Fulfillment Center
70

Fulfillment Center NYC Reviews and Tickets

70%
(74 Reviews)
Positive
68%
Mixed
27%
Negative
5%
Members say
Great acting, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow

About the Show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents this world premiere drama about four lonely people longing for fulfillment.

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Member Reviews (74)

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90
Edgy, Intense, Profound, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if Characters who are lost in their lives seek fulfillment outside of themselves making matters worse. Exquisite dramatic ironies.

Don't see it if You don't want to experience painful characters interacting with other painful characters. You don't like dark comedy.

69
Disappointing, Great acting, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy the actors in the production, contemporary issues such as the economy & mental health, or indecisive, ineffectual characters

Don't see it if you need to relate positively to all characters, uncomfortable being left with questions about characters, trouble following a long stage

Critic Reviews (18)

The New York Times
June 20th, 2017

“A quietly shattering new play…The director, Daniel Aukin, and his perfectly mismatched cast find the resonant meaning in the battle between hope and cynicism that infuses these characters’ every word and gesture...Though you’re likely to feel the pressure of unshed tears when the play is over, ‘Fulfillment Center’ is also an unexpectedly inspiriting work…The production is steeped in a luminous and illuminating empathy that feels both uncommon and essential right now."
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Time Out New York
June 20th, 2017

“One of the work’s keen pleasures is the way it feels like a carefully wrapped package: everything precisely contained, each of its two-person scenes assembled with the least padding possible. There’s a strictness about the staging, too...This simplicity accentuates the way director Daniel Aukin and his cast melt into naturalism simply by using a wealth of beautifully realized behavior…O’Connell is playing a part that could have been written for her. She is one of our theatrical nonpareils.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 20th, 2017

“Unfortunately, ‘Fulfillment Center,’ while featuring many evocative moments, fails to cohere into a satisfying whole. Despite terrific performances from its four-person ensemble, the play just spins its wheels before ending so abruptly that we’re not sure it has…The performers do as well as can be expected with their ill-defined roles…But their efforts are not enough to make ‘Fulfillment Center’ remotely fulfilling.”
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Theatermania
June 20th, 2017

“After an enticing windup, ‘Fulfillment Center’ fizzles out into a series of two-character scenes in which competent actors are asked to interrupt each other's lines in a vague approximation of real human dialogue…Lack of detail makes it hard for us to invest in the drama, even though we know something crucial is at stake. Buried in Koogler's highly stylized patter lurks a much-sharper play…At least O'Connell leaves us with something to chew on with her brave and vulnerable performance.”
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Lighting & Sound America
July 5th, 2017

“Much of the success of Aukin's production is rooted in four first-rate performances…'Fulfillment Center' is as spare and elliptical as a 'New Yorker' short story, but each scene is loaded with unspoken tensions, and its unsparing view speaks to the moment we're in…A small, tightly focused drama, and Aukin's direction makes it compellingly taught. Even more compelling is its depiction of people trying to get by in a system where the only metric of their value is how much they can produce.”
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Talkin' Broadway
June 20th, 2017

“The sad outweighs the funny in ‘Fulfillment Center,’ but my gosh, there's plenty of both…They're rich characters, and Daniel Aukin's direction, rife with overlapping dialogue, mines their quirks expertly...And he knows comedy. So many exchanges that might read as so-so on paper reverberate and land beautifully, helped by actors who know how to subtly reveal and amplify character contradictions. Booth is really spectacular…So is O'Connell."
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Theatre is Easy
July 1st, 2017

"This new play about loneliness and desperation features brilliantly drawn characters played by four magnificent actors...The play’s weakness is in its structure...For ninety minutes we experience their terror with great clarity. But Koogler offers no structure for their condition. His story lacks a beginning, middle and end...What makes 'Fulfillment Center' a fulfilling evening is the actors...Life may fail to offer us redemption, but these actors work overtime to redeem this play."
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CurtainUp
June 20th, 2017

“A formidably talented cast to forcefully flesh out their characters' hopes and insecurities…Smartly written and often funny dialogue…The alternating one-on-one interactions tend to become repetitious and short of strong dramatic heft...Though there's not a whole lot of drama, Kooger does have a good eye and ear for the nuances of these relationships...Unfortunately it becomes increasingly clear that none of these situations will take us anywhere."
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Front Row Center
June 27th, 2017

“An intense ninety minutes, during which the emotional alienation of the characters manages nonetheless to create an absorbing connection with the audience. Each performer embodies their character with such great empathy and skill that by the end we are left with a disquieting sense of dread, as if we soon might learn that something horrible has happened to them."
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Stage Buddy
June 20th, 2017

“A skillful balance of depth and humor…Moreno nails his portrayal of Alex…Booth’s bossy Madeleine is the perfect counter in their relationship, and Weller wows as John…But it’s O’Connell who really steals the show. O’Connell hits all of her serious and comedic notes with equal power…Though the play doesn’t neatly tie up every loose end it creates, we still walk away having thoroughly enjoyed the journey -- making ‘Fulfillment Center’ a fulfilling experience.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
July 7th, 2017

"There is something incredibly uncomfortable going on, and I mean that as the greatest of compliments...It’s tragic and surprisingly engrossing as we watch these four fine actors strive but rarely meet...Unique, funny, and disturbing. Much is left unsaid or unexplained, but the need and the reactive pushback is clear...My guess is that each audience member will find connection with one of these four characters on some deep and emotional plane."
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C
June 20th, 2017

“If you’re seeking an exploration of the downtrodden in today’s economy, you will be severely disappointed…While Koogler gives his well-drawn characters some development, and even a bit of closure, not all that much actually happens. Conversely, if all you need is to spend time with a company of accomplished actors bringing their A-game to an admittedly slight script, you’re in luck. Any evening spent watching the brilliant O’Connell in action is the rare opportunity to view a master class.”
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B
June 20th, 2017

“For the first 30 minutes or so, I thought it was heading confidently to an interesting destination. Unfortunately, as it progressed, the playwright seemed to lose control of his material and the play ended up at a dead end...The writing weakens, the play meanders and it finally grinds to a halt…It’s always a pleasure to see Deirdre O’Connell...With more work, the play might have amounted to something better. As is, it’s a missed opportunity.”
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T
June 24th, 2017

"The emotional lives of all four seem as blighted and empty as the nowhere town of the setting. But Koogler and director Daniel Aukin inject this sad quartet with a desert-dry humor...The dialogue and staging pop and fizz like freshly opened summer sodas...Though it runs less than 90 minutes, 'Fulfillment Center' is stuffed with meaty moments and is a filling offering."
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Act Three - The Reviews
June 27th, 2017

"The play...falls flat, is empty, and the characters, all but Suzan, 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...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, much like Alex, you realize the failure that just unfolded in front of you."
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Village Voice
June 28th, 2017

"In its quietly distraught manner, 'Fulfillment Center' makes a true portrait of today’s Americans...That you feel a helpless sense of pitying affection for them all comes partly from Koogler’s terse, astutely turned dialogue...An equal amount of your feeling is roused by Aukin’s four actors...Each of these performances alone would be an impressive achievement; the four of them together give this low-down, plainspoken play the transcendent effect of a great string quartet."
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Z
June 21st, 2017

"Koogler has the playwright’s great gift of writing character into every line. Even if these performances were not as flawless as they are, you would know these four very different people from the words on the page...This is a production that would benefit from a smaller, or perhaps shorter, space. Despite the neck ache, it’s gripping drama, and Aukin creates a tension and sense of desperation that keeps you riveted."
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Reclining Standards
July 21st, 2017

"At its best, 'Fulfillment Center' moves almost imperceptibly between realism and a poetic alternate reality...For me, 'Fulfillment Center' was most satisfying as a vehicle for its actors, all of whom were ideally cast and excellent...There’s some lovely moment-to-moment communication, funny and heartbreaking. Yet, in the end, I found 'Fulfillment Center,' well, not entirely fulfilling."
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