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All about the Musical Working

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Working the Musical: DVD of the Television version

cover for Working
Working
Working play: Broadway Archives created a DVD from the tape from American Playhouse, WNET and KCET, 1982 Studs Terkel's Working (Broadway Theatre Archive)

Also available as a downloadable rental or purchase: Downloadable version of Working the Musical

Stephen Schwartz directed this PBS production of his show Working. Watch for James Taylor singing his trucking song and sharing his great smile. Studs Terkel introduces the show. You'll see Schwartz's wife Carole in the role of supermarket checker. There are many noteworthy performers and performances.

Overview for Working the Musical

Original Production and Revised Version of Working

Working by Studs TerkelBased 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.

Working is a down-to-earth yet elevating musical that features songs that were also based on real interviews. The music is by Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor, Micki Grant, Craig Carnelia, Mary Rodgers, and Lin Manuel Miranda.

Working lyrics for the show are by Stephen Schwartz; Micki Grant; Craig Carnelia; James Taylor; Susan Birkenhead; Matt landers and Graciela Daniele, and Lin Manuel Miranda. See details below.

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 5/14/1978. Although it had a short run, the musical became popular for regional theatres, colleges, and high schools. A revised version for six or more actors is available for licensing through Music Theatre International.

The updated version (2012) 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.

Who Wrote What? Songwriters for Working:

  • Stephen Schwartz: the opening number "All the Livelong Day", "It's an Art," "Fathers and Sons," and the newsboy's song, which was replaced by "I'm Just Movin'"; See also our "Fathers and Sons" page and "It's An Art" page
  • Micki Grant: "If I Could've Been," "Lovin' Al," and "Cleaning Women";
  • Craig Carnelia: "Just a Housewife," "The Mason," "Joe," and "Something to Point To";
  • James Taylor: "Brother Trucker," "Millwork," and the music for "Un Mejor Dia Cendra" - Matt Landers and Graciella Danielle wrote lyrics for this song.
  • Susan Birkinhead and Mary Rodgers: the teacher's song, "Nobody Tells Me How"
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda "A Very Good Day," "Delivery" (For the updated version)

Working the Musical - From Page to Stage

Defying Gravity Stephen Schwartz biographyIn Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked, author Carol de Giere includes a behind-the-scenes account of the way Stephen Schwartz and his collaborators developed Working as a stage musical.

In interviews for the book, Schwartz revealed why he chose additional songwriter to create the score and what his rationale was for developing a non-fiction musical.

The story of Working in Defying Gravity also includes comments from co-adaptor Nina Faso, producer Irwin Meyer, cast members Lynne Thigpen, Robin Lamont, Matt Landers, David Patrick Kelly, and songwriters Micki Grant, Craig Carnelia, Stephen Schwartz, and Susan Birkenhead. Readers gain insights about individual songs in relationship to the musical as a whole.

Working the Musical Recordings Compact Disk icon

Working Cast Album

working album cover with letteringNEW: Working is available for download at Amazon - mp3 Working Original Broadway Cast

in iTunes WORKING THE MUSICAL ALBUM

Working The Compact Disc CD Cast Album of Working the Musical is currently unavailable except for used copies. Try here: Working ~ A New Musical From the Book by Studs Terkel (Original Cast Recording)

Working the musical recordingLA Theatre Works production - Unabridged edition (December 26, 2000) Working: Starring Eileen Barnett, Orson Bean, Harry Groener, Kaitlin Hopkins, Michael Kostroff, Kenna Ramsey, Vickilyn Reynolds, Vincent Tumeo and B.J. Ward, Stephen Schwartz's son, Scott Schwartz, directed this production. Includes songs and more.

James Taylor recorded his songs from Working on several of his albums and videos. Visit the complete James Taylor/Schwartz page - Includes quotes and links.

Craig Carnelia songs are included on various albums.

Don't miss Stephen Schwartz singing his own touching rendition of "Fathers and Sons" on The Stephen Schwartz Album

Read about it: Working Cast Album: Article by Bruce Kimmel: Working on WORKING: The Journey towards a Long-awaited CD

Note that this re-release version includes additional bonus tracks: 16. I'm Just Movin'

17. Hots Michael at the Piano (previously unreleased demo recording performed by the composer Craig Carnelia)

18. The Mason (previously unreleased demo recording performed by the composer Craig Carnelia)

19. Joe (Carnelia) (previously unreleased demo recording performed by the composer Craig Carnelia)

20. Lovin' Al (previously unreleased demo recording performed by the composer Micki Grant)

21. Fathers & Sons (performed by the composer Stephen Schwartz)

Working Sheet Music & Lyrics

Working / Vocal Selections - Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. (November 1997) Song Titles include: All the Livelong Day * Brother Trucker * Cleanin' Women * Fathers and Sons * If I Could've Been * It's an Art * Joe * Just a Housewife * Lovin' All * The Mason * Millwork * Neat to Be a Newsboy *Nobody Tellls Me How (the teacher song) * Something to Point to, Un Mejor Dia Cendra Working: Vocal Selections (Amazon.com)

DETAILS WITH KEYS: 15 songs including All the Livelong Day(C), Lovin' Al (B flat), The Mason(F), Neat To Be A Newsboy(A min/G), Nobody Tells Me How(E), Un Mejor Dia Vendra(F), Brother Trucker(B), Fathers and Sons(F sharp min), If I Could've Been (A), It's An Art(A), Joe (D), Just a Housewife (D), Millwork(A), Cleanin' Women (D flat/D), and Something to Point to (B flat).

For some lyrics from Working show - see Working lyrics

Songbook cover

For sheet music for all of Schwartz's musicals except Wicked check out the Stephen Schwartz songbook.

Includes 292 pages of songs as Stephen plays them.

Selections from Working show in The Stephen Schwartz Songbook: includes a revised lyric for "It's an Art" plus "Fathers and Sons"

"Just a Housewife" and "The Mason" are included in the Craig Carnelia Songbook

Resources, Features, Reviews for the musical Workingcamera icon 

A related item to Working: Studs Terkel's Working: A Teaching Guide with 200 pages of classroom materials--including questions, topics for discussion, tips for taking oral histories, and a bibliography of related resources.

Studs Terkel - Bio, books, audio book - Read more about this interesting man who was an expert interviewer.

A comparison chart between characters in the musical and Terkel book: Working - Cross Reference between Working the Musical and Working by Studs Terkel - Find out where the monologues and song ideas came from.

Working Reworked: Read about the Old Globe Theatre production of Working. Why was the show revised? What were the ideas behind it? Check here.

Working CD: Working on WORKING: The Journey towards a Long-awaited CD, By Bruce Kimmel | Review by Robert Levy of the 2001 release of the cast album

Review of the Video
Working Review

Production photos and review of a Revised version of WORKING
American Theater Company Chicago 2000.

http://www.ibdb.com/ - for Working - Details on the Broadway cast, creatives, songs, crew, etc.

See Tonyaward.com for Tony info on other shows.

Nominations for Working were:

1978 Tony Award® Best Book of a Musical
Book adapted by Stephen Schwartz [nominee]

1978 Tony Award® Best Original Score
Lyrics by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor; Music by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor [nominee]

1978 Tony Award® Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Steven Boockvor [nominee]
Rex Everhart [nominee]

1978 Tony Award® Best Scenic Design
Scenic Design by David Mitchell [nominee]

1978 Tony Award® Best Lighting Design
Lighting Design by Ken Billington [nominee]

Working Show Schedule

As you may know, the DVD of Working was produced in more of a TV documentary style than a stage musical, and therefore is not a suitable model for stage productions. If you want to see how Working works on stage, you'll need to travel to a live production. Go to MTI Shows and find the WORKING page. Then look for the blue tab that says "Upcoming." Click there for a list of licensed productions.

Forum

Stephen Schwartz has answered questions from fans, performers, directors, and musicians involved with Working. See the Working section StephenSchwartz.com - Forum Archive

Online Community

Join the online community at www.mtishowspace.com/ - look for photos, discussion, etc.

Licensing Working for performance

Music Theatre International's detailed description and ordering information for the production - search on Working at http://www.mtishows.com

See a comparison chart between characters in the musical and Terkel book: Working - Cross Reference between Working the Musical and Working by Studs Terkel

Working Cast List - Updated Version with 6 or more actors

Here is one optional configuration of parts, in which 6 actors play 26 roles. Directors may also add more cast members and split up the speaking roles.

MAN 1
Plays: Rex Winship, Frank Decker, Conrad Swibel, Mason Soloist, Tom Patrick, Ralph Werner
Vocal Range: C3- A4

MAN 2
Plays: Freddy Rodriquez, Raj Chadha, Allen Epstein, Anthony Coelho, Utkarsh Trajilo, Charlie Blossom
Vocal Range: D3- B4

MAN 3
Plays: Mike Dillard, Eddie Jaffe, Joe Zutty
Vocal Range: B2- E4

WOMAN 1
Plays: Terry Mason, Sharon Atkins, Grace Clements, Theresa Liu
Range: E3- D5

WOMAN 2
Plays: Amanda McKenny, Kate Rushton, Roberta Victor, Maggie Holmes
Vocal Range: E3- E♭5

WOMAN 3
Plays: Rose Hoffman, Candy Cottingham, Delores Dante
Vocal Range: F♯3- C5

Working Cast List Older Version

MIKE DILLARD Ironworker
Baritone
AL CALINDA Parking Lot Attendant
Tenor - High B flat
AMANDA McKENNY Project Manager
REX WINSHIP Corporate Executive
ROSE HOFFMAN School Teacher
Mezzo-Soprano
BABE SECOLI Supermarket Checker
Contemporary Belt/Mix
ROBERTO NUNEZ Boxboy and Migrant Worker.
Baritone/Tenor
CONRAD SWIBEL UPS delivery man
KATE RUSHTON Housewife
Contemporary Belt/Mix
ROBERTA VICTOR Hooker
CANDY COTTINGHAM Political Fundraiser
GRACE CLEMENTS Millworker
Pop Alto
ANTHONY COELHO Stone Mason
Tenor
SAM
FRANK DECKER & DAVE Truckers
Rock Baritone/Tenor
HEATHER LAMB Telephone Operator
SHARON ATKINS Receptionist
ENID DuBOIS Telephone Solicitor
DELORES DANTE Waitress
Contemporary Belt
JOE ZUTTY Retiree, Older Character
Baritone
TOM PATRICK Fireman
MAGGIE HOLMES Cleaning Woman
Contemporary Pop/Belt
RALPH WERNER Salesman
CHARLIE BLOSSOM Ex-copy boy

 

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