POST: 'Fulfillment' - the people who surround you

Photo by Hunter Canning

Photo by Hunter Canning

What's it about?

Fulfillment is about an African American man, Michael, who battles alcohol addiction, the fact that he isn’t a partner at his law firm, racism, and his relationship with a woman who’s also his colleague. Michael lives in a $1.5M NYC apartment where he hears the noise of his upstairs neighbor’s daughter (because that neighbor doesn't follow the rule 80% of your apartment must be carpeted). Sarah, who he’s in a relationship with, tries helping him cope by introducing him to a form of meditation, "think of living in peace." Michael wants to be a partner at his law firm and Sarah leads him to believe he’s not because of racism. Michael's best friend Simon questions if Sarah being in his life is the reason behind all of his misfortune. Needless to say, Michael experiences a lot of adversity because of the people who surround him.

What did I experience?

The show started with a spotlight on the main character. I almost got up and screamed “HEY, YOU’RE THE GUY FROM MY FAVORITE SHOW THE FOLLOWING (Gbenga Akinnagbe)” but I didn’t because my parents taught me better and I can’t act like I lost my mind in the theatre. It was a good surprise. I used to watch The Following on Fox religiously until it got cancelled. 

The show had many surprises, but when Michael and Sarah were fully nude... what! It seemed as if they were literally engaging in sexual activity 85% of the time. I mean, I don’t remember any kind of nudity warning, not that it would make me not want to attend. Anyway, so... Michael and Sarah are fully nude. In that moment I looked around at the audience like, what is everybody thinking, what is the expression on everybody’s face? Did they know this show had nudity? I saw a few others doing the same but mainly a lot of people zoned in.

The most surprising part for me, was when Michael was walking with his neighbor’s daughter outside, talking about how much he wants her to stop making so much noise. **SPOILER ALERT** The girl ends up getting into a car accident. He thinks it's his luck because he’s been meditating on the noise stopping. But not his un-luck. I was shocked that he felt lucky the girl got hit! I was like “Is he serious?!, the girl almost died and he’s thinking about himself?!” I couldn't believe how much he thought about himself, how selfish he was.

Photo by Hunter Canning

Photo by Hunter Canning

The two funniest scenes to me were:
1) When Michael complained to the landlord that the neighbors didn’t have carpet.
The landlord checked and she learned that the neighbors did in fact have carpet. Little did she know they only put down carpet because he knew she was coming to inspect. The landlord went back downstairs and demanded Michael get carpet because the neighbor had carpet. She was so aggressive with Michael and she had this raspy voice and I was like, how can I take you seriously with a voice like that? She was about 5’3 screaming and looking up at this man who looked about 5’11. I was like “Ummmm, Please! You’re not that scary.”
2) When Michael went out to dinner and was constantly annoyed with his waitress. He wanted his fish cooked a certain way, he wanted 6 shots, and he wanted better service. I was laughing because I was more into the waitress... her facial expressions, and voice were amazing... then I realized “You’re the landlord and the waitress too!”

When the show ended, I took a moment to really look at the set. I’m too used to productions on a big stage. It was nice to see that they could set up so many different scenes on the same stage. To put on a detailed show with minimal props is fascinating, very creative. Props like a door, bed, chairs, and tables - the way they rolled them around to set up a new setting was new for me. 

Before heading back out I stood up and took three deep breaths to prepare myself to go back outside. I left with joy because I expected drama and suspense but got a lot of comedy with a little drama. 

Want to see it?


$30 tickets
or Pay What You Can Mondays

The Flea Theater
thru Oct. 19