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‘Working’ promises to impress

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The Annie Russell Theatre will be presenting its adaptation of Working, a reflection on the American workplace.

Everyone must go see the Annie’s production of Working. That’s an order. As a graduating senior, this contemporary musical hit a little too close to home—touching on the realities of the “real world” and all the nuances that go with it: identity crisis, making ends meet, and becoming the job. A triumphant showcase of the blue-collar working community based on the book by Studs Terkel, Working will have you in touch with your sense of Americana within the first ten seconds of their opening song, “All The Livelong Day.” Why Working? “Rollins wanted to do a second musical this year, and this is a great ensemble show that will showcase our very talented musical theater students,” says the show’s director Associate Dean of Faculty Dr. Jennifer Cavenaugh, “The themes of the show encourage us to recognize all those who work around us, making our lives easier. It explores a wide range of pertinent issues such as work/life balance, living wage and gender inequities in the work place. There is a wide range of material that ranges from comic to poignant.” The talented cast demonstrated impressive vocals, never missing a beat. This musical is unapologetic and slightly uncouth, presenting both the successes and failures of a capitalist society through the lens of a variety of blue-collar perspectives. This musical is about the people who are not provided the opportunity to take center stage, to get their much deserved thanks. In a society that defines itself with capitalistic enterprises and occupation, this musical tips its hat to the farm workers, flight attendants, truck drives, phone operators, waiters, waitresses, schoolteachers, housewives, stay-at-home mothers, mailmen, receptionists, builders, firefighters and many more. The various monologues that include a juxtaposition of a socialite with a prostitute will have you in fits of bellyaching laughter, while the plight of the factory worker will have you in near tears. “I love the ensemble work,” says Cavenaugh, “Even though the show is structured as a series of people sharing their work stories, we have chosen to stage it in such a way that everyone participates in each other’s work environments.”

Furthermore, this production of Working is particularly special in that it has received permission from composer Stephen Schwartz to reincorporate the song “Un Mejor Dia Vendra.” Meaning “a better day will come” the song was added back into the musical under the discretion of the director, who felt it was important to underline  a role so essential to the central Florida economy. Ultimately what makes this production a fantastic success is its ability to capture the human experience in a raw and realistic manner. Comical yet heart-wrenching, this is a poignant production that you absolutely cannot miss.

Photo courtesy of Scott Cook

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