Two of my friends took Anne and me to see Bob’s Holiday Office Party at the Third Stage theatre last night. This show is in its tenth year, and it’s easy to see why it has been able to endure for so long. The show takes place in a small midwestern town, at Bob’s Holiday party. Bob is an insurance salesman, but he really wants to be an inventor. While he considers a move to the Big City (Des Moines), all his friends, who happen to be his clients, drop in for drinking, dancing, and various forms of holiday cheer.
There’s a story, about preserving and escaping small-town America, but it’s not that central to the enjoyment of the show. The real joy in Bob’s Holiday Party are the brilliant characters written by Rob Elk and Joe Keys, brought to life by an immensely talented cast, who never fall into the caricature trap. The show gets a bit chaotic at times, just like a real holiday party, but the actors are so fantastic, the chaos is more entertaning than overwhelming.
Last night was the show’s official closing night, but they’ve extended for four more shows, on Saturday nights in January.
This is not a show for uptight jerks or kids, but for everyone else, I highly recommend it.
Update: If you’d rather not take my word for it, read blogging.la’s own Colleen’s take on the show, which I carelessly forgot about before I wrote this post earlier today. I blame the War on Christmas.