A musical in two acts, ‘Working” is a humorous and touching meditation on how and why we do what we do, what our work means to us and the people we care about, and how we feel when our working lives eventually come to an end.
‘Working’ is a musical that manages to entertain while also communicating a profound message about the inherent dignity of work and the importance of our individual contributions.
Based on the book by Studs Terkel and adapted for the stage by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the audience is introduced to American workers from all walks of life. Song and dance numbers expose the inner thoughts of business professionals, blue collar workers, day laborers, and housewives, blended seamlessly into a narrative that testifies to the universality of our hopes, dreams, and disappointments.
“Working” requires a solid ensemble cast as well as standout solo performers, and the Gay Men’s Chorus delivers both in spades. Young and old workers alike fill the stage, representing the many seasons of our working lives. Alex Tyson shines as the funny and charming fast-food worker who’s just started his first job, a notable contrast to the firefighter (Dana Nearing) who sings with strength and purpose as he describes the meaning he derives from his work. John O’Brien embodies the aging school teacher who laments the changes in her profession in a memorable performance of “Nobody Tells Me How” and Michael Toth (retiree) delivers a moving rendition of “Joe” as he contemplates the past and his approach to life after work. In a fun twist, Director Silvio Weisner’s gender-bending casting serves up an all-male version of “Just a Housewife.” The action takes place on a simple set, supported by a piano, bass, drums, and guitar.
“Working” is a musical that manages to entertain while also communicating a profound message about the inherent dignity of work and the importance of our individual contributions. And who better to remind us of these basic truths than a performing arts organization committed to creating a more equal world for us all?
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission.
ran February 9 and 10 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC. For information about upcoming productions, click here.