It seems that sometimes hitting below the belt can be a good thing. ACT Theatre’s Below the Belt by Richard Dresser is currently on stage until June 21 and it’s a timeless take on corporate culture. Anyone who has had to face down a cubicle on a daily basis will appreciate the satire and black humor found in Below the Belt.
Deal Alert! ACT is offering a deal to all working stiffs. Day-of-show rush tickets are half price with discount code Rush2506. The offer is good online after 1:00 a.m. on the day of the show or in person at the box office one hour before the performance.
In the vein of Dilbert and Office Space, the play tracks the absurdities and dehumanizing aspects of office life. The company is nameless, the product is unknown and the boss, Mr. Merkin (played by local favorite John Procaccino), is a more insecure version of Michael Scott (from The Office). Merkin plays his two employees off one another trying to win their loyalties and constantly worries why they don’t “laugh together” more often. The only thing missing is the “World’s Best Boss” mug!
While the characters may not be laughing, the audience definitely is. Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch (of Taxi fame and currently starring on CBS’s Numb3rs) stars as Hanrahan who is the beleaguered and bitter coworker of Dobbitt, a hopelessly naïve and idealistic employee played by R. Hamilton Wright. The two actors are amazing as they navigate the topsy-turvy, who’s-on-first-base dialogue of the play. If you’ve ever endured a staff meeting where everything ridiculous ends up sounding logical, you’ll appreciate Hanrahan and Dobbitt.
With today’s impersonal, mega-businesses coming under scrutiny, this play is a topical riff on what we all seem to be feeling. In a world of nameless, faceless, unfeeling corporations, Below the Belt gives a knockout evening of knowing laughter and relief.