Jeffrey Binder as Bob, Photo by Joe Geinert
It is said that Bob was born on Valentine's Day in the bathroom of a White Castle Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. It is said that Bob's birthmother, whose name was Helen, was feeling particularly lonely and depressed on this holiday and felt that only a certain greasy cuisine would soothe her ache.
It is said that Helen was unaware of the Valentine's Day tradition of the usually more subdued White Castle restaurant to adorn their tables with candles and cloths and other romantic miscellany and that the restaurant would be packed with couples flaunting their couplehood.
Nor was Helen aware of how severe her physiological reaction would be to witnessing this vast scene of public love until, after eating much faster than she intended, she rushed into the bathroom, pushed to urinate and her wombic fluids erupted onto the bathroom floor.
Nor was she aware how quickly labor could be sometimes until five minutes after her water broke, Bob would emerge quickly and fiercely from her magic chamber.
BOB chronicles the highly unusual life of Bob and his lifelong quest to become a "Great Man." Born and abandoned in the bathroom of a fast food restaurant, Bob energetically embarks on an epic journey across America and encounters inspiring generosity, crushing hardships, blissful happiness, stunning coincidences, wrong turns, lucky breaks, true love and heartbreaking loss. Along the way, Bob meets a myriad of fellow countrymen all struggling to find their own place in the hullaballoo of it all. Will BobŐs real life ever be able to live up to his dream? Bob is a comedic exploration of American mythology and values, the treacherous pursuit of happiness, and discovering what it means to be truly "great."
WINNER of the 2010 Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference
POSITIVE PULLQUOES FOR BOB
"It is said I loved Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's BOB.*
The play's shockingly optimistic tone is downright subversive when you consider its subject: what it means to be a success in America. How are the new legends made? Slightly unsound of mind and decidedly stout of heart.
For those of us who have found the career ground completely shifted beneath our feet, with the old paths no longer applicable, this play is more than a silly, picaresque romp through the diners and monuments of Middle America (though it is also that). It asks us to reconsider the worth of tangible recognition in favor of a more elusive reward. Rather than an Arthur Miller-esque indictment of the American Dream, Nachtrieb proposes a more gentle - though no less emotional - revision."
Erin Keane, Lousiville Courier-Journal
*first sentence is from her twitter link to the article
"An epic journey of self-invention, a picaresque comedy that sprawls across the American cultural and geographical landscape, taking in rest stops and mansions along the way. Nachtrieb's sketch-filled script hearkens back to Thurberesque satire, pointed but gentle, and unfailingly optimistic."
Marty Rosen, Leo Weekly
"There's exuberance and bounce in Nachtrieb's voice, and BOB evinces a loving, Ira Glass-y eye for off-kilter Americana."
Rob Kendt, American Theatre Magazine
Nachtrieb shakes us awake from what's become an American Nightmare and, reconfiguring the idea of what makes a person great, finds a new dream to strive for in the end. It's also a damn funny play."
David Loeher, 2Amt
"Talk about mixing low cuisine with high culture. The whole story is laugh-out-loud funny and thought provoking. It is at once brutal in the reality it presents but also hopeful and contemplative. The writing and delivery are fast-paced."
Angela Champion, Louisvilleky.com
"I enjoyed Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's "BOB," a sort of American pop-culture 'Peer Gynt.'"
David Sheward, Backstage.
"Pretty much everyone also loved Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Bob...The play is a surreal biography, covering the life from birth to death of Bob, who is abandoned as a baby in the ladies' room of a White Castle and who rises, in a series of hilarious steps, to become wealthy and famous. Jeffrey Binder was wonderful as Bob, and Aysan Celik, Polly Lee, Danny Schele and Lou Sumrall were delightful as multiple characters Bob meets on his life's journey. Sean Daniels' direction was clever and inventive."
Larry Harbison, Playfixer
"[A] comic amalgam of Brechtian epic theatre and vaudeville."
-Clifford Lee Johnson III, TDF Stages
TO APPLY FOR RIGHTS OR BUY A SCRIPT of BOB: please contact Dramatists Play Service
Looking for a suggested cast breakdown for BOB? It accidentally disappeared from the script. Here's a suggested breakdown.
- World Premiere March 2011 at The Humana Festival for New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville
- NewScripts Reading at SCR October, 2009
- 'Rough' reading at Playwrights Foundation, SF January 2010
- Out Loud reading at Ars Nova, New York City May 2010
- Bob was commissioned by South Coast Repertory.
- More productions at B Street Theatre, Sacramento; Aurora Theatre, Georgia; Geva Theatre, NY; A.R.T. Institute Cambridge, MA and more!
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