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Nickel & Dimed @ Thunder Coffee

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 Ehrenreich, who set out to research low-wage life firsthand, confident she was prepared for the worst. Ehrenreich’s best-seller about her odyssey is vivid, witty, yet always profoundly sobering.

Joan Holden’s stage adaptation is a focused comic epic shadowed by tragedy. Barbara is prepared for hard work but not, at age 55, for double shifts and constant 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.

April 20 & 21 at 7:30 pm. Performances will be held at Thunder Coffee (300 Sheyenne St #190, West Fargo).

The performance will take on a reader’s theatre-style staging with scripts utilized throughout the production.