Set in small-town Iowa, “Bob’s Office Party” centers around the worn out offices of the town’s insurance agent, Bob, who inherited his position from his father…following in a long family tradition.
Although born into the profession, Bob holds far different aspirations. He dreams of being an inventor and escaping to the big city, far away from the pressures of being everyone’s “fix-it” man.
Bob is also having a secret and very sordid affair with the mayor’s wife and chins are very definitely beginning to wag.
So the stage is set as the night of Bob’s annual Christmas party, to which all the local colorful characters are invited. Nutty twin sisters and local landowners, the local alcoholic Sheriff, a dippy hippy with a farm, the town strumpet and the mayor…and his wife. This year, however, they are surprised by a visit from the local boy made good. Now a millionaire, he was once teased mercilessly by most of them as a kid in school. His plan is to buy out the town and turn it into some vast superstore as revenge and he offers to buy out the agency from an unwitting Bob who senses freedom finally.
There are so many opportunities for hilarity in this show and the cast takes advantage of every single one.
The writing is clever but bawdy, a deadly combination and the performances bold, realistic and absolutely brilliant.
There seemed to be a lot of people in the audience who make “Bob’s Christmas Party” an annual event, bringing friends and family and neighbors to share their joy. It adds so much to the general experience when so many people are already primed for enjoyment. I can only imagine how much the support from the crowd feeds the actors’ energy and propels the show.
In these days of our burgeoning ‘gig’ lifestyles, how sad it is that so many of us miss out on that most stellar of traditions – the office party.
Here at Bob’s place, we can all get a little taste of the drunken and the desperate, the propensity for humiliation and the staggering urge to debauch and debase and defile…all in the name of Christmas. It’s like watching a slow-motion car crash…without the bloodshed or the pain and with a lot more laughs.
It reminded me off a few bad parties and a few worse decisions. Fortunately “Bob’s Office Party” is an excuse to laugh at other people’s horrible behavior, rather than re-live one’s own mistakes. It’s a funny, excellently produced and searingly accurate portrayal of what I hope we never lose from our rapidly changing culture….I absolutely loved it!
It’s a short run, so don’t dawdle…
Written by Joe Keyes & Rob Elk, Directed by Matt Roth
Produced by Rob Elk, Joe Keyes & Maile Flanagan
Running December 6 through December 20, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm & 7pm.
Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039
CAST: Joe Keyes & Rob Elk are joined by returning cast members Elk & Keyes and the two are joined by returning cast members Michael Bonnabel*, Melissa Denton, Mark Fite, Maile Flanagan, Michael Halpin*, Andrea Hutchman, Sirena Irwin, Pat O’Brien*, and Pat Towne*. (* alternate cast)