copious love suggests

Copious Love Suggests: “Evan & Bobbi”

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evan & bobbiEvan & Bobbi: A Twisted Christmas Carol
Confrontational Theater Project
in association with STAGEright
By Tom Stewart & Beau M. K. Pritchard
At Theatre Off Jackson
TICKETS through Sat December 13th

What Does Christmas Mean to Evan & Bobbi?

I think one of the best things about Copious Love Suggests is that we are able to recommend shows to our audience without having to “review” them. It is an extension of our copious love into the local community, we love doing it, and it’s the holiday season ripe for miracles! In this particular case we were out for opening night of Evan & Bobbi, a little anti-Christmas miracle of its own.

Tom Stewart and Beau Pritchard teamed up to write the full-lenth version of this original production after the pilot won STAGEright’s Christmas Carol Experiment last year. To me, the ham was in the heart. By that I mean the meat of this show was in the characters. Each role hit on an angle of despair, elaborating circumstances in life that demand decisions – for better or worse – and showed the practicality of how people manifest their situations. Every character was written with hope, ambition, and desire, but I’ll tell ya, in my opinion that damn Marley ruined everything.

Bryan Bender as Marley played opposite Scott C. Brown as Evan Scrooge. These two corporate partners had their game plan figured out, their tactics honed, and the future looking bright. Brown carried a stunning arc throughout the show as the lead, who I had a lot of sympathy for. But Bender’s Marley character was so enraptured with aspiration that those around him began to bear the weight. It was a cool take on the story, and both these two actors surprised me more than once. Jenifer Gillis Rifenbery played Bobbi with a wonderfully realistic poise. Danika Golombek did a marvelous job with her multiple characters, and Dylan Twiner had one of my favorite moments with a mini Christmas tree. This cast put a lot into their performances and carried this very dark story with a lot of grace.

One of my favorite design choices was their concept for the past, present and future. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the second half opens up with a superbly funny sitcom scene complete with audience interaction! Oh, and I am not sure how many more taboo subjects could be touched on by a holiday show, but Evan & Bobbi does not disappoint in that arena! I was personally very glad to be able to work with their production team as Lighting Design, but I am as surprised as I am pleased with the way it has all turned out. What does Christmas mean to Evan & Bobbi? Regret. Don’t let that happen to you! Be sure to support these amazing artists and see Evan & Bobbi: A Twisted Christmas Carol.

By Tony Gavilanes

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