Anticipating the Boom

In May 1974, bombs exploded inside two separate cars in Boulder, 48 hours apart. The blasts killed six Chicano activists and seriously injured a seventh. Cuarenta y Ocho, written and directed by Su Teatro artistic director Tony Garcia, is a suspenseful thriller that explores the 48-hour period between the attacks.

“It is a fictionalized imagining of what those 48 hours were like, through the experience of a handful of people who are not real people,” says Garcia.

At the time, some in the Chicano movement argued that the government killed the activists; others said the six accidentally killed themselves.

“People are not going to walk away with an answer where it’s going to be nice and tightly fit,” Garcia says. “It begins with an explosion and it ends with an explosion. Even though we know the beginning and the end, we can only speculate about what happened in between.

“There’s a quote from Alfred Hitchcock that I stumbled on: ‘The terror is not in the boom. It’s in the anticipation of it.’ This has been the guiding aesthetic for the piece.”

The play premieres tonight at 7:30 p.m. and runs through June 29 at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive. Tickets are $20, or $17 for students and seniors. For more information, call 303-296-0219 or go to
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 29, 2 p.m. Starts: June 12. Continues through June 28, 2014

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris