In Celebration of Pride
A Special Benefit for Friendly House and AFTD
July 1, 2023 at 7:30 PM
Run time: approximately 90 minutes
A Story of Love, Loss, and Finding Purpose
Chasing Rainbows is a love story in two acts. The year is 1996. The city is San Francisco, yet much of Chasing Rainbows takes place in the walled city of Lucca, Italy where Bob, our humble storyteller, and Donald, the mesmerizing human who is destined to be his life partner, fall in love with everything Italian – and each other. What follows after is two decades of resplendent love before Donald begins to display signs of memory loss, marking the beginning of his having Primary Progressive Aphasia, and his descent into dementia, and ultimately death.
In the end, Chasing Rainbows is a play about finding a reason to carry on after the loss of a loved one, about finding ways to honor their memory while holding the precious moments that make up a lifetime of love close to your heart. Inspired by the love of his life, Bob brings this true tale to CoHo in the hopes that his story will resonate with our CoHo community, using storytelling as a tool to honor Donald’s memory, connect with our community, and raise awareness about frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), or the most common form of dementia, a crippling disease that affects over 50,000 Americans each year.
100% of ticket sales go to Friendly House and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD).
Seniors receive 50% off ticket prices.
The Reviews are In
“Chasing Rainbows is a love story with an “I can’t believe that happened” twist. Bob Powers’ one man play captures the pain and heartbreak of caring for a loved one with dementia in a tender, conversational style. It is a must see for anyone who has loved deeply. I am honored to have been a small part of his experience.”
– Barbara Karnes, Author of over 35 million booklets about dementia, dying & grief.
“I was deeply moved by Bob Powers’ wonderful storytelling. He engages the audience in a delightful love story, one filled with laughter and sadness. Chasing Rainbows is inspirational. Truly, after such theater, we are more enriched and compassionate.”
– Marilyn Caskey, Broadway Actress and Singer
“Chasing Rainbows reinvigorates the intimacy of the stage. It highlights Bob Power’s journey from meeting the love of his life until losing them to the battle of aphasia. Powers brings vulnerability as he guides the audience through some of the highest and lowest parts of his life, showing us what life is really all about, love, compassion and dedication.”
– Phil Johnson, Program Director, Coho Theatre, Portland, OR
“Bob Powers’ work, Ode to Barry Manilow, A Night in Italia, and now Chasing Rainbows, transforms the audience. His storytelling is vibrant, clever, breezy, and downright charming. Bob squarely takes on the joys and struggles of the world with open, thoughtful eyes. His work makes for gripping theater.”
– Jefferson Arca, Actor and Owner, Clocktower Cabaret, Denver
“The story of FTD, a rare disease that’s actually the most common dementia under 60, is far too little known… Bob Powers tells it with humor, insight, and compassion. In sharing his love for— and his journey with – Donald, he shines a light on a story that needs to be told, drawing on raw grief and an urge to find meaning through the pain of loss. People who have faced FTD or lost a loved one to any form of dementia will draw special resonance from this story… whatever your life experience, you’ll find part of your own journey reflected in this powerful play.”
– Ben Freeman, AFTD Senior Director of Advancement
About the Playwright
Bob Powers first stepped foot onto a legitimate stage over fifty years ago in Malawi, Africa, where he played Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, in what was the first interracial theater production in the country. 20 years later, while living in New York and New Jersey, Bob played in numerous productions at Somerset Valley Playhouse. His favorite roles were Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, Harry in Company, and the Barber in Man of La Mancha. At Circle Theater he played Erroneous in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
In 1994, Bob penned his first play, Ode to Barry Manilow, a One Act play, which he performed at Climate Theater in San Francisco. Ode was selected for inclusion the world’s largest festival of solo performers, the Solo Mio Festival, where Bob joined the ranks of the English actress Clair Bloom, Allen Ginsberg, Margaret Cho, Anna Deavere Smith, and others. Ten years later, he wrote Act Two and performed both acts as a benefit for the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. In 2018, at Denver’s Clocktower Cabaret Bob told the tale, A Night in Italia, to a sold-out audience. Chasing Rainbows, Bob’s latest play, premiered in Portland, Oregon in August 2022. Since then it has been performed in Lucca, Italy; Sacramento, California; Denver, Colorado, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Chasing Rainbows is a tribute to Donald.