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Nickel and Dimed
Black Box Theater at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds
Langley, WA
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Event

Nickel and Dimed
Can a middle-aged, middle-class woman survive, when she suddenly has to make beds all day in a hotel and live on $7 an hour? Maybe. But one $7-an-hour job won't pay the rent: she'll have to do back-to-back shifts, as a chambermaid and a waitress. This isn't the first surprise for acclaimed author Barbara, who set out to research low-wage life firsthand, confident she was prepared for the worst. Barbara Ehrenreich's best-seller about her odyssey is vivid and witty, yet always deeply sobering. Joan Holden's stage adaptation is a focused comic epic shadowed with tragedy. Barbara is prepared for hard work but not, at 55, for double shifts and nonstop aches and pains; for having to share tiny rooms, live on fast food because she has no place to cook, beg from food pantries, gulp handfuls of Ibuprofen because she can't afford a doctor; for failing, after all that, to make ends meet; or for constantly having to swallow humiliation. The worst, she learns, is not what happens to the back or the knees: it's the damage to the heart. The bright glimpses of Barbara's co-workers that enliven the book become indelible portraits: Gail, the star waitress pushing fifty who can no longer outrun her troubles; Carlie, the hotel maid whose rage has burned down to disgust; Pete, the nursing home cook who retreats into fantasy; Holly, terrified her pregnancy will end her job as Team Leader at Magic Maids, and with it her 50-cent raise. These characters wage their life struggles with a gallantry that humbles Barbara, and the audience. The play shows us the life a third of working Americans now lead, and makes us angry that anyone should have to live it. "undeniably provocativeOne can't see this stage version without questioning an economy in which poor people subsidize the lifestyle of the middle and upper classes." Variety. "A rare example of theater that tries to open people's eyes to the way life is lived in the real worldand maybe even rouse them to action." Time Magazine.

Location

Black Box Theater at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds
819 Camano Avenue
Langley, WA 98260
United States

Categories

Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

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