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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Working (1982)

Based on the non fiction Studs Terkel book WORKING: PEOPLE TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY DO ALL DAY AND HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT WHAT THEY DO adapted into a musical. It's a series of monologues with workers ranging from steel worker, waitress and cleaning woman to corporate executive, schoolteacher and call girl. Some are straight monologues while others are done through song and some a combination of both. This is a straight adaptation of the stage musical and viewed as such it doesn't travel well to another medium. Both the writing and the songs are hit and miss. Some are tedious but once in awhile (but not often enough), touching and very effective. The songs are by a multitude of composers including James Taylor, Stephen Schwartz and Mary Rodgers. Among the the highlights: Barbara Hershey's call girl (no song), Rita Moreno's waitress (It's An Art), Eileen Brennan's mill worker (Mill Work sung by Jennifer Warnes), Charles Durning's retiree (Joe) and the rousing Something To Point To sung by the entire cast. Directed by Kirk Browning and Stephen Schwartz. With Patti LaBelle, Barry Bostwick, Barbara Barrie, Charles Haid, Beth Howland, Lynne Thigpen, James Taylor, Scatman Crothers, Didi Conn and Edie McClurg.

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