Nestled in the little village area of Atwater sits the Atwater Theatre which from June 8- June 30 presents the Echo Theater Company's comedy, "Bob." Mixing mythology with episodic storytelling, the play spans the entire life of the main character.
Born and abandoned on Valentine's Day, in the bathroom of a fast food restaurant by his mother, Helen, Bob (Jeff Galfer) travels across America with his adoptive mom, Jeanine. He finds himself on his own when she suddenly dies and somehow manages to fend for himself. Coincidentally, he comes across his biological mother at an inopportune time and later across his biological father. He experiences love, generosity, and crushing hardships and loss. Despite all that, he remains optimistic as he goes on his quest to become "a great man." And maybe that's a lesson for all of us to learn =- That we are each all great in our own ways, we just don't always know it.
Telling Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's comedic story is director Chris Fields. Kathryn Poppen did costume design, Drew Dalzell did sound design, and scenic design was by Angel Hererra. Julie Ann Harris was production stage manager. Producers are Chris Fields and Lauren Bass.
Originally commissioned by South Coast Repertory, Bob received the 2010 Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference.
I don't know how to begin to describe this unusual play. It's a comedy and yet it's not. It had moments of hilarity and yet many moments of "what is this doing here?" Nachtrieb writes with throwing everything including the kitchen sink in his story.
The 30 speaking parts were played by just four main actors, which was an amazing feat in of itself. The acting was great - staring Ahmed Best, Alana Dietze, Jeff Galfer, Hutchi Hancock, Tara Karsian, Rich Liccardo, Michael McColl, Jud Williford and Jacqueline Wright --and the audience seemed to enjoy themselves, yet somehow the dialogue seemed stilted and the story line stitched together with coincidences that, while they added to the humor, would not have been funny anywhere else.
If you want an out of the ordinary play experience, you might like Bob.
Bob: A Life In Five Acts runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7 pm General admission is $25. The Atwater Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Ave, in Los Angeles. There is free on site parking . For reservations and information call 877 369 9112 or go to www.EchoTheaterCompany.com