WORKING is a musical that celebrates everyday WORKING people and the characters are exactly what you would expect for a show about WORKING class people. This means however that the language can sometimes be vulgar, though it is often used to really nail home a point about a character. Not all these characters are people you will like, but they are all very believable people.
A cast of six people play all parts in the show. I particularly liked the method they used to do costume changes on stage and thought it was very well done. I was also quite fond of the lighting in the show, it was used to strong effect and really highlighted certain scenes. The use of the backdrop to project images was also very well done and did a great job to drive home the scenes that were playing out before the audience.
The cast itself was strong though not all equally strong or strong in the same ways.
Fred Groper did a very good job playing the older men in the show, though his singing was often flat, his characterizations were very endearing.
William Kamps, had the strongest male voice in the songs, and I could always pick his voice out in the group numbers and he was always on beat to the music.
John Wishnie had a moderately good singing voice, but by far had the best characterizations of all the men. His accents were all spot on, and each voice he spoke in was noticeably different from all the rest.
Hanah Shafer had a very pretty voice and had a very soulful quality to her singing and acting. For someone as young as her to have such a pretty voice, I’d love to hear her sing again in years to come.
Vicky Czarnik has a wonderful voice, and she made me laugh more then any of the other women during her acting sequences.
Lisa Ernst was the runaway star of the show, she had a beautiful singing voice, and did the best job of making the use of her space on the stage. She had two of the best numbers in the show and really brought the audience into her characters’ worlds and lives.
Book by: Studs Terkel
Adapted by: Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso
Songs by: Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor
Producer: Suzanne Smith
Assistant Producer: Hilary Leboff
Director: Jarad Benn
Music Director: Mike Gilch
Choreographer: Nicole Farine-Machin
November 1st-10th, 2013
Playful Theatre Productions at
Mercer County Community College