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8 Bob Off 

A confusing love triangle. Really confusing.

Wednesday, Mar 5 2003
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8 Bob Off is about home improvement. Howard Swain plays Bob Plum (or "Plum Bob"), a middle-aged guy renovating a house owned by his aunt. Except for this job he would be out of work, so his life is a total mess. O-Lan Jones plays Donna, the wife next door who flirts with Bob, and Luis Saguar is her husband, Bobby. Strangely, Gary Leon Hill has written the first half of this play in such an oblique, fractured style that it isn't clear whether we're meant to believe anything the characters say. At first Bob feels like an absurdist play stuck inside a good Raymond Carver story. By the second half the dialogue flows more naturally, and it's clear that Bob is, in fact, screwed up about his ex-girlfriend, and Donna is, in fact, flirting with him to make her husband jealous, etc., but by then the audience is a bit discombobulated. Although Saguar and Jones give full-blooded performances, especially when they're together, Swain's arch acting keeps us at arm's length from the title character. This show is a world premiere, commissioned by the Z Space Studio, but it still feels under construction.

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