|Bob Cox as Frump (left) tells |
Jason Wilhoite as Finch who's the boss
Photo courtesy of Brigid Blaschak
Bob Cox shows that nice guys can finish first, too. Bob is delightfully devious as Bud Frump, the villain in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Bob describes Bud as “an arrogant, petty, jealous, pretentious yet loveable snob. Bud is always the first to know what's going on at World Wide Wickets, that is, until J. Pierrepont Finch [played by Jason Wilhoite] shows up on the scene. Bud sees Finch plotting and planning to rise and so he decides he'll do the same; all the while trying to get Finch to fall flat on his face.”
Bob’s greatest joy and biggest challenge in playing Bud is to counteract his own natural tendency to be “pretty nice in real life, so Bud is a new take on my personality. If I were as mean as Bud Frump that I'd be walking around with a guilty conscience a lot of the time. There is a particular moment in the show where Finch realizes that Bud has double crossed him -- one of the first times we did this scene without scripts, I saw Jason give me this look of pure disappointment and I just felt absolutely awful! Aside from that situation, however, I find playing someone rude to be quite fun!”
While audiences will revel in Finch’s rise and Frump’s demise, Bob feels that “people will enjoy How To Succeed because this musical wasn't made to teach you a lesson or make you think. The only thing our audience needs to do after they sit down in their seats is relax and let us entertain them. There is a ton of cute jokes, fun songs, awesome dances and clever lines to keep the audience fully involved in the show.” Bob also likes that the show “succeeds in being funny without relying on being dirty. The sexual jokes are only implied. It's just good clean entertainment that is appropriate for any age. Nowadays you don't see that too often, and it's nice to take a step back to a time period that was much more wholesome.”
Bob is no stranger to How to Succeed, having played Mr. Bratt in a high school production nine years ago. In typical self-deprecating fashion, Bob says, “If I do say so myself, I did an absolutely horrible job, but it was only my first show. After doing terribly in that show, I started doing more and more shows, gaining more singing, dancing and acting experience, all of which led up to who I am now. Those experiences have prepared me to do the best I can in this show, and it's great to be re-experiencing this show as a more mature actor and person.”
So how does Bob define “success” in life? He says, “I measure success in happiness. Make all the money you want, but if you don't start and end your day with a smile, then there is really no point to it. Get enough done to keep yourself satisfied, work hard enough to be able to live comfortably, but enjoy a nice lazy day here or there. Bud Frump seriously needs to get that memo because he seems to find happiness in other peoples' misery; not a good role model to follow.” Bob works at Schoolcraft College in Disability Support Services assisting students with disabilities in getting accommodations for their classes. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games with friends, playing the piano or going on bike rides/hikes with his boyfriend.
The Farmington Players production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is proudly sponsored by TruVista Wealth Advisors. The show includes 13 performances from April 24 – May 16 and tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.