In playwright Leslye Headlands droll workplace comedy, the Caligulan corporate boss for whom all workers leap through hoops is never actually seen onstage. Instead, Headlands opus focuses on the Great Mans procession of ill-fated young assistants, who are virtually forced to crawl through a sea of muck in their attempt to get a whack at a cubicle office. In a Manhattan corporation, rumpled young assistant Nick (Adam Shapiro) is brilliant at his chosen avocation of bootlicking, flattering and call rolling so brilliant that he just might wind up being an assistant till his dying day. When senior assistant Vince (Graham Sibley) is promoted (and turns effortlessly into an oily skank), Nick develops some romantic chemistry with Vinces replacement, Nora (Katie Lowes), who may be just too sensitive for the elevated level of sharkishness required. Meanwhile, all need be wary of the perky ice princess, new hire Jenny (Amy Rosoff). Headlands skill for scathingly taut dialogue emerges crisply in director Annie McVeys production. With its ferocious pacing and intense mood, the show captures the resigned hatefulness of those who define themselves by their masters. Shapiros cardigan-wearing big bro assistant, who knows how to work the system like a virtuoso, particularly shines. Lowes ultimately fragile Nora and Rosoffs she-devil of ambition are similarly believable and funny. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 18. Continues through May 24, 2008
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