Bob’s Holiday Office Party Review – Bawdy Holiday Laughs

Cast of Bob's Holiday Office Party - Photo courtesy of Beverly Hills Playhouse
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It’s been 26 years and going strong. BOB’S HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY returns to Los Angeles in 2023 for another go at the holiday season. This improv parody about a small town in the Midwest and how the locals come together annually to celebrate has become a cult classic. Co-authors Rob Elk and Joe Keyes are key players on this roller coaster to inebriation and salty and shady sex, appearing as insurance salesman Bob Finhead (Elk) and Sheriff Joe Walker (Keyes). Director Matt Roth has his hands full corralling these unruly denizens from Neuterburg, Iowa – especially when they’re in their cups and letting their ids on full display.

Andrea Hutchman and Rob Elk – Photo by Louisa Gauerke

Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead and his weird but loyal friends and clients come together in his office to eat, drink, and be merry – especially the latter two. The local sheriff, the town’s mayor and his friendly, flirtaceous wife, the rich farmer-girl twins, the town druggie, the local nympho, and the visiting high school nerd who made it let it in Des Moines – all hang out as they pursue their special brand of fun and games, Iowa style. Soon Bob’s office is the center of a maelstrom with food flying through the air, couples doing the shake and grind, and everyone imbibing just a little too much local cheer – all while the stuttering tycoon remembers too clearly what it was like to be bullied by his fellow high schoolers in the less-than-good old days.

Rob Elk, Chloe Taylor, Joe Keyes, Andrea Hutchman, Judy Heneghan, Johanna McKay, Pat Towne, and Mark Fite – Photo by Louisa Gauerke

BOB’S HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY must be doing something right, what with reviews pinpointing comic “havoc” and “deviant behavior” (Broadway World), “bawdy holiday cheer” (Flavorpill), and “gut-busting laughter…a drunken alternative to Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (L.A. Weekly).” Even the Los Angeles Times notes that the show is “hilariously deranged…characters so keenly observed and skillfully portrayed that they never wear out their welcome,” while Backstage described the show as “riotously funny.”

Chloe Taylor, Rob Elk, Andrea Hutchman (front), Pat Towne, Johanna McKay, Judy Heneghan, Mark Fite, and Joe Keyes (rear) – Photo by Louisa Gauerke

The cast again includes Keyes and Elk, together with Mark Fite, Judy Heneghan, Johanna McKay, Chloe Taylor (12/1 and 12/3), Peter Breitmayer (12/8-17), Andrea Hutchman, J.P. Manoux (12/1-3), Sirena Irwin, and Pat Towne. The creative team does an excellent job of offering an office hosting holiday madness (Amanda Knehans’ set design), with lighting by McLoed Benson. Just remember that many of the cast are award-winning actors in their real non-holiday lives and that this is a unique show where they got to rehearse for 26 years. Audiences will soon be waiting for the twenty-seventh holiday office party!

BOB’S HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY runs through December 17, 2023, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 7 p.m. on Sundays. The Beverly Hills Playhouse is located at 254 South Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. For information, go online. For reservations, go online.

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