Adam Bock’s “The Thugs” communicates more in its glances, glares and sentence fragments than other plays’ most artfully crafted soliloquies. Bock captures the tension and fractured relationships in the bleak world of temporary employees and throws in a couple of potential homicides for good measure.
Seven temporary employees working for a law firm sort through the rumors surrounding two recent deaths in their building. The characters reveal the threats they face: abusive boyfriends, a waning environment, a violent world on the edge. The collective paranoia builds to a well-orchestrated fever pitch.
The top-notch cast makes the Mametesque dialogue sound as natural as breathing, and capably man-handles the script’s helter-skelter rhythms. Standouts include Caroline Dodge Latta as the office’s sad-sack pariah/victim; Bob Pries as the ebullient gossip-monger and Greta Honold as the cheerful do-nothing who must deal with a very real conflict at home. (Lisa Buscani)
At Profiles Theatre, 4147 North Broadway, (773)549-1815. Through December 14.