Very Belated Summary of "Working" Production

closeThis post was published 12 years 1 month 25 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

I know it’s been ages since I last published on this blog (or on any blog, really), and even longer since the show actually took place. I’m really sorry about that; last week was spent fooling with the end of school, and this week (still on-going) has been lots of socialization and more dealing with the end of school (most notably the computer I’m using, which has to go back by Wednesday [realistically, earlier, because of shipping]).

Aside from everything going on in my own life, I’ve been remembering the scheduled posting bug from a week ago. I don’t know if it’s fixed yet. We’ll see. I haven’t seen any updates from Blogger about it. So I don’t know whether this post will even publish when I want it to. But it’ll have to be a gamble, because I can’t hold off writing this any longer. [Update (06:12): It didn’t publish automatically… Somebody please fix that bug!]

AudienceImage via WikipediaOn May 31, I participated in a production of Working, the musical by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, based on a book of the same name by Studs Terkel. I played the roles of Rex Winship (CEO, I believe, of an unidentified corporation) and Tom Patrick (a fireman). Two very different characters to be sure.

The full list of characters and songs we did went like this (in show order):

  1. “All the Livelong Day” (all)
  2. Mike Dillard – Ironworker
  3. “Traffic Jam” (all)
  4. Several office workers
  5. Amanda McKenny – A project manager
  6. Rex Winship – “Boss”
  7. Pam “Babe” Secoli – Supermarket checker
  8. “I’m Just Movin'” (Babe and Checkers)
  9. Roberto Nunez – Supermarket bag-boy
  10. “Un Mejor Dia Vendra” (Roberto and, er, me with no character name)
  11. Conrad Swibel – UPS man
  12. Kate – Housewife
  13. “Just a Housewife” (Kate and two other housewives)
  14. Roberta Victor – Hustler
  15. Grace Clements – Millworker
  16. “Millwork” (Grace)
  17. “If I Could’ve Been” (all)
  18. Frank Decker – Truck driver
  19. Heather – Telephone operator
  20. Sharon Atkins – Receptionist
  21. Enid DuBois – Telemarketer
  22. Delores Dante – Waitress
  23. “It’s An Art (The Waitress)” (Delores and Customers)
  24. Tom Patrick – Fireman
  25. Ralph Werner – Salesman
  26. Charlie Blossom – Rebel (?)
  27. “Something To Point To” (all)

We were having some weather that day. First rain, then hail, then high winds. Our director delayed the show due to the weather, giving our audience more time to navigate the storm. The tornado sirens went off later, during the performance. Which freaked out about half the cast.

Despite a rough start (the whole cast, practically, was late on a dance move in the opening number), the show went pretty well. It was still rather unpolished, but I think that may have added some realism. We did have a lot of energy through most of the performance, and the audience didn’t notice any of the few very tiny glitches that happened. The workers’ monologues all had a lot of feeling.

Hey, I even got through the dances! Remembering dance steps is, for me, like climbing Mount Everest. For comparison, remembering song melodies and lyrics is like sleeping. I must be a very musically inclined geek. Or a very geeky musician. One or the other. (Or neither; there’s something to be said for me liking to write and act, as well.)

After the show, we had a sort of cast party at my house. We got four other cast members plus a few outside friends. The show was short enough that my mom managed to tape a good chunk of the party, encouraging reprises of musical numbers in a capella style.

I hope to eventually get both Working and the recent Performance Company show digitized and uploaded to Google Video, so I can share links with family and friends who couldn’t make it. That’ll probably take a while. If it takes until after my stay in Evanston, IL, don’t be surprised. I have to get my dad to do the capture and encoding, as he’s the only one with the hardware, software, and available storage space necessary, but he’s quite often busy.

So, there’s my summary. I’d summarize the show, but Wikipedia’s already done a pretty good job of saying what it’s about. The list of characters and songs we kept (above) should be enough to personalize our particular production.

By the way, if you want to hear songs from the show, I found a student- or faculty-maintained (can’t tell which) page with links to MP3s. That page might change in the future, so listen now if you want to. If it disappears or changes to no longer include Working material, please post a comment below. Update (2010-02-05): That page no longer seems to exist. It must have been a student; the server seems to return 403 Forbidden status codes (instead of 404 Not Found) for any file that doesn’t exist.


I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

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