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Monday February 20, 2017
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Chemical Traces



a vicarious scream of frustration and rage.

The show is a rant framed as a love story, like a curse written on a valentine. Red velvet curtains slide back to reveal Bob furiously typing his manifesto in his raggedy deep-woods shack. As he sputters out imprecations, his supposed pal and secret rival, unabomber Reynaldo, sidles up to inspect Bob's 900-odd pages. "A manifesto should be at least a thousand pages long," he chides, in an oily foreign accent that combines elements of the Godfadda, Cheech and Chong, and severe constipation.

The sweet young disgruntled postal worker Emily sashays in for a touching scene of shy infatuation, and to pick up Bob's latest bombs, for Yanni and Kenny G. Although packing a machine gun slung on her back, Emily's bashful chat with Bob, a hint at some vestige of innocence, casts her as a creature of curdled idealism rather than less interesting crusted-over cynicism. Bob's tenderness with Emily is a similar human touch that makes the characters more layered than run-of-the-mill homicidal maniacs.

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