Let the beer chugging begin! Bob’s Holiday Office Party, the yuletide season’s side-splittingest antidote to yet another A Christmas Carol, Nutcracker, or It’s A Wonderful Life, is back in town for its 21st year of drunken Midwestern mayhem.
Throwing the party once again this December is Neuterburg, Iowa E-Z Insurance Agency owner Bob Finhead (co-writer Rob Elk), eager as ever to pack up shop and head off to Inventors’ School. (Check out Bob’s remote-control toilet flusher and you may never want to hand-flush again.)
Meanwhile there’s some partying to be done by these invited (and uninvited) guests:
Sheriff Joe Walker (co-writer Joe Keyes), proud to announce that thanks to AA he is “off the beer. But if you’ve got some whiskey, that’d be okay.”
Mayor Roy Mincer (David Bauman), blissfully unaware of his wife and Bob’s clandestine love affair, though judging from Roy’s head-to-toe winter white, it’s a wonder the mayor wed a woman in the first place.
Onetime Neuterburger Elwin “Stinky” Beewee (Pat O’Brien), back in town not just “to spend the holidays with Mother and then put her in a home” but to rub in his schoolyard bullies’ faces his multimillion-dollar success selling “pork built quick in a black plastic bubble.”
Appetizer-tree-bearing twin sisters La Voris and La Donna Johnson (Melissa Denton and Maile Flanagan), pleased as punch that Donald J. Trump’s election signals the end of that “Muslimite” and the darned Obama-care he foisted on the nation.
The twins’ nephew Marty (Mark Fite), showing up this Christmas with yet another insurance claim (“Is it considered a moving violation if the car I hit wasn’t moving?) though minus his morbidly obese wife. (“She’s up to 807, but the good thing is she’s been bigger.”)
Roy’s cheating wife Margie (Andrea Hutchman), fresh from a visit to the local tanning salon that’s left her skin tight as a drum and orange as a pumpkin.
Recent State Mental Hospital patient Carol (Sirena Irwin), quickly persuaded to accompany herself on the spoons while warbling her latest self-composed ditty as only the Neuterberg nutjob can.
Town tramp Brandy (Irwin again), a bottle blonde whose vocabulary does not include the word “shame,” and who before you know it has attacked Elwin and Joe’s every body part with just about every inch of her own.
Drinking games abound, including one involving three (count’em) funnels. Sheriff Joe joins the twins in a three-way slow dance that is soon out of control. Elwin attempts revenge for all the wrongs done to him as a child. And most significantly of all, Bob’s threatens to close his business and leave Neuterberg—and Margie—behind.
Office Party 21.0 is directed with over-the-top wild-and-wackiness by Matt Roth and performed by a cast whose comedic brilliance has been honed by year after year after year of practice making perfect, with special snaps to I Love Lucy® Live on Stage star Irwin’s screamingly screwball-loose Carol and scenery-chewing, man-eating Brandy.
This year’s production looks especially terrific in its spiffy new Atwater Village Theatre digs (or at least till the beer starts getting spilled and the cheese balls start getting thrown) thanks to a crackerjack design team headed by scenic designer Amanda Kneehans and lighting designer Derrick McDaniel.
Bob’s Holiday Office Party is produced by Elk and Keyes. Marissa Dramissi is production stage manager. Pat Towne, Michael Halpin, Mary Scheer, and Cody Chappel alternate with Bauman, O’Brien, Hutchman, and Fite in the roles of Roy, Elwin, Margie, and Marty.
Whether you’ve attended all 21 Office Parties or this is your very first time at Bob’s, the E-Z Insurance Agency’s annual holiday shindig is the place to be for a winter walk on the wilder side. Leave it to Bob to leave’em laughing … and begging for more come next December.
Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village. Through December 18. T
December 1, 2016
Photos: Marissa Drammissi, Roger Nygard, Ed Krieger