The Aurora Theatre opens its new comedy this weekend


Staff Photo: John Bohn Actor Dan Triandiflou, left, plays the role of Bob who meets a drugged-out-hippie, played by Doyle Reynolds, at a rest stop.


Staff Photo: John Bohn Actor Dan Triandiflou, left, holds his foster mother, played by Veronika Duerr, before she dies in the comedy.


Staff Photo: John Bohn Actor Dan Triandiflou, right, meets a widow, played by Scott Warren, who has returned to a rest stop to scatter the ashes.


Staff Photo: John Bohn The Aurora Theatre performs the play "Bob" by playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. Actor Dan Triandiflou, bottom, plays the role of Bob while Wendy Melkonian acts as Bob's mother -- at the moment. In this scene, "Bob" is born in a White Castle bathroom.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Bob was born in the bathroom of a White Castle on Valentine's Day.

His mother left him on the floor saying, "Good luck."

He was later found by a White Castle employee who raised Bob as her own.

Sound depressing? It's not. It's just the beginning of the Aurora Theatre's latest comedy, "Bob," written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Sean Daniels.

On a stark, but bright stage, the show follows the journey of Bob and his path to greatness. The actors use props and quick costume changes to tell the story.

"'Bob' is an equally compelling, universally funny story that speaks to today's society," said Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez.

Through five acts, five actors tell the story of this everyday kind-of-guy who is trying to find his way in the world without real guidance or education. He learns that there isn't always a lesson to be learned, but everyone is always on a mission, no matter how mundane it may be. He strives to find his mission in life.

Bob (played by Dan Triandiflou) meets many people along the way (played by Veronika Duerr, Scott Warren, Wendy Melkonian and Doyle Reynolds) as he grows up from a young optimistic child to a man seeking recognition for things he has done.

"'Bob' is a celebration of the ordinary man," Daniels said. "Everyone (in the cast and crew) who has listed the Bobs (in their lives) didn't list anyone famous or a multi-millionaire, but someone who made a profound effect on their lives."

Playwright Nachtrieb added, "The hope is that every character that you see that everyone is having their own big challenge and dream. No one is alone."

Bob learns about love, luck, hope and change while living in a rest stop, traveling the country and moving to Mexico.

With nothing by failure to show in his past, Bob feels like he hasn't made an impact in anyone's life, but he hasn't stuck around to actually find out. Turns out, he did.

"You can impact people without ever knowing it, which makes the fabric of our world," Nachtrieb said.

To pay tribute to everyday heroes, the Aurora is erecting a large canvas for patrons to sign with the names of their heroes. The canvas will be on display in the theater's lobby during the running of the 'Bob.'

For those who still aren't sure about the show, it has been awarded the 2010 Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award from the National Theatre Conference, and received its World Premiere at the Humana Festival for New American Plays in March 2011. This is the play's second production.

"Bob" is sold out Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.