The World Famous BOB Is F to F
nytheatre.com review by Susan Gordon
July 14, 2006
The World Famous BOB is a female-to-female stripteasing Marilyn Monroe-type with bright pink feathers in her hair. She is kind and sweet and her 2006 HOT! Festival show, The World Famous BOB is F to F, is a one-woman show about herself.
BOB's story is unassuming and universally applicable. She is born Kevin (a self-described fat, pale, Goth girl) and grows up with a valium-loving mother in rural California. She hangs out with her best friend, Nobody. She renames herself after a Goth hero. By her 15th birthday, she is in despair, dying a slow, misunderstood death out in nowhere. Then, on a night out on a nearby town, she meets a group of gay men. They see something special in her, she discovers fabulousness and glamour, and her life is changed forever.
At home on a bare stage at Dixon Place, in varying states of undress, BOB's smile and eyelashes sparkle enticingly throughout her monologue. She disregards the one stage prop (a chair) to stand and deliver a great part of her tale in gold pumps, baby pink fringed panties, and long black tassels. She endows her act with the gleeful exuberance of a clever and sincere child. It's the kind of innocence that gets you. You know you're being sweet-talked, but you like it, and you believe her when she promises, "I don't have a writer, it's all true."
Maybe it's also that she's so inviting. She's glad you came over. She has something important to tell you. She has found truth out of darkness, and she wants you to know how much fun she's having now. It all works. The delight spreads, until every smiling face in the audience radiates support. The world is her living room, and we're glad we stopped by too.
But she is far from being all talk. There is the beginning striptease, Marilyn dressed in pink and cooing to the president. There is a middle undressing, slow and shimmying. There is the grand finale that begins in a slinky black sequined dress with a slit edging up close to the pink fringe. The ways she jangles every inch of her enviably endowed body throughout are all equally memorable.
In the end, The World Famous BOB is F to F is really a story about heroes. Everyone who insists on being their special self even when surrounded by hostility has a central role in BOB's tale. As does New York City, the place made of, for, and by heroes. "There's room for everyone here," she beams. And, she reminds you, when some who want to ruin it get in, you can teach them to love themselves and let them join the party.