In Adam Bock’s Obie Award-winning black comedy The Thugs, everyone works in a cubicle (in this case, at a law firm) and lives in a world where anything could go wrong at the drop of a hat. And in the intimate fifty-seat performance space at We’re House Performing Arts Center in Boulder, where local troupe Band of Toughs is staging Bock’s play, that Kafkaesque dynamic will no doubt be that much more, uh, suffocating and creepy, says Toughs member Joan Bruemmer. Fresh off their sell-out outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Boulder Fringe Festival in August, BoTs is making an about-face: “Adam Bock is a relatively young playwright with a very contemporary voice,” Bruemmer explains. “This summer, we went old-school with Shakespeare; now we’re going new-school with Bock.” Think “Office Space crossed with The Firm,” she adds, and you’ll begin to get an idea of where this play is going. The Thugs digs under the surface of superficial office life, where co-workers are often familiar without being truly close, and toys with the under-the-surface paranoia we all live with in the modern world.
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Will humor win out? Hard to say, though Bruemmer does promise a “work ballet” as part of the denouement. “This is such a spooky and funny office play,” she notes. “Anybody who’s ever worked in a cubicle will really enjoy it.” See The Thugs tonight at 8 p.m. (and every Friday and Saturday through November 3) at We’re House, 5763 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder (behind the Avery Brewing Company); for tickets, $13 to $15 (a two-for-one deal is being offered tonight only), go to www.bandoftoughs.com.
Fridays, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 & 9 p.m. Starts: Oct. 19. Continues through Nov. 3, 2012