|Directed by: Gordon Greenberg
Written by: Stephen Schwartz, Nina Faso, Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers, Susan Birkenhead, James Taylor, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Produced by: Jed Bernstein, Dianne Fraser and Sheila Simon Geltzer
Production year: 2011
Original release:Feb. 15 thru Jun 5, 2011 at the Broadway Playhouse of Watertower Place in Chicago
Other cast: Gene Weygandt, Barbara Robertson, Emjoy Gavin, E. Faye Butler
Misc: Amazon | iTunes
Based on the best-selling book of interviews with American workers by Studs Terkel, Working explores the American workday from the Monday morning blues to a working person’s pride in having “something to point to.” Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso adapted Working into a stage play, mostly using the original words of some uncommon common men and women. In the musical, twenty-six workers, including a parking lot attendant, corporate executive, schoolteacher, gas man, housewife, fireman, waitress, millworker, sailor, etc., sing and talk about their jobs, defining not only their daily round, but their hopes and aspirations as well.
The show opened on Broadway in 1978. Although it had a short run, the musical became popular for regional theatres, colleges, and high schools.
The updated version (2011) introduces songs and content relevant to the technology-filled world of today (quite different from that of the 1970s). It includes new characters, monologues, and songs addressing aspects of 21st Century work life, such as outsourcing, technology, fast-food, caregiving and fundraising. This version preserves earlier material that is still relevant to today’s world. For this version, Schwartz asked to Lin-Manuel Miranda to contribute. He wrote two songs titled Delivery and A Very Good Day; the first is a big energetic song based on his experience as a delivery boy for McDonalds, while the second is a soulful ballad called about a nanny and an elder care worker, both of whom live far from their own family members.