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‘Office Space: The Musical’ steps out of the cubicle

By R. Eli Townsend
Special to The PREVIEW

“In 1999 a cult classic premiered that was destined to take pop culture by storm,” says Ted Sweetland, the main character in Thingamajig’s “Office Space: The Musical,” opening Jan. 11 at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.

“It’s a show within a show,” director Laura Moore remarks. “The second floor accounts at DynaCorp Intl. (a toilet manufacturing company) decide to ditch their annual retreat and put on a musical instead: ‘Office Space.’ Throughout the re-enactment of the film, the accounts see similarities in their own lives and ultimately try to stave off disaster of their own.”

Backstage Theatre artistic director Christopher Willard, writing partner Jamie Bruss and Denver musician Donna Debreceni wrote and composed the script and score in 2007. It’s only other production was a workshop in Breckenridge featuring Moore’s husband, Tim Moore, as Ted Sweetland/Peter Gibbons.

“I couldn’t stop laughing,” says Tim. “The script was so clever, the songs outrageous and bold, and we kept getting rewrites of the show up till opening night. I remember Chris running up to me one hour before curtain with fourteen pages of new script, five of them changes to a song. I was incredibly nervous for all of us involved.”

The show went on to run six weeks to packed audiences who loved the movie and couldn’t wait to see what a musical version had in store for them.

With a cast of nine, the production follows the accounts as they blow off some steam and shake up their hum-drum lives and produce a show. An accidental e-mail to the bosses serves as a turn that sends them scrambling to choose between their jobs or finishing the show.

Fans of the movie will recognize the dialogue and bust a gut listening to how it’s been incorporated into song at times. With musical numbers that include “Flair,” “Jump to Conclusions,” “Stuck in a Rut,” “Change” and “LOFYC” (you have to hear it to believe it), audiences are sure to leave the performance in stitches.

The cast includes Tim Moore (Peter), Jarrett Heber (Michael), Elizabeth Howey (Joanna), Sharina Ramsey (Nina), Jodi Kurz (Anne), Brooks Lindner (Lawrence), Mike Moran (Milton) and Dave Armbrecht (Lumberg).

Thingamajig Theatre Company presents “Office Space: The Musical” Jan. 11-27.

This show contains adult content and is recommended for mature audiences.

Tickets are on sale now by visiting www.pagosacenter.org or calling 731-SHOW.

This story was posted on January 3, 2013.