Steelworkers, waitresses, and parking garage attendants hardly make the stuff of the traditional Broadway musical. But their voices form the songs and monologues of this plotless paean to the American wor...展开king stiff, inspired by the bestselling oral history by Studs Terkel. Adapted from the stage production by composer Stephen Schwartz, this 1982 American Playhouse production has a pleasingly fluid structure that includes Terkel himself as an onscreen narrator/host. It veers from sentimentalizing working folk to (at its best) questioning the conclusion drawn by a high-priced call girl played by Barbara Hershey: "What you do is what you are." James Taylor sings a truck-drivin' tune, Scatman Crothers and Charles Durning lend a rascally vigor, and Rita Moreno insists "It's an art to be a fine waitress." Strongest of all is Eileen Brennan, with her face out of a Walker Evans photograph, as a weary factory worker resigned to her punishing job. --Robert Horton
This musical adaptation of the Studs Terkel book examines the average worker's viewpoint--showing that he or she is anything but average. Based on a series of interviews with real working people--construction workers, waitresses, firemen, secretaries and cleaning women--"Working" is both an exploration of the individuals' occupations and a lament for lost hopes and dreams. This musical adaptation was conceived by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin). A must for all musical theatre buffs.