Cabrini College Theatre will present the musical “Working,” written by Stephen Shwartz and Nina Faso, based on the book “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do,” by Studs Terkel.
From the Mill Worker to the Hooker, this musical is the story of every day people and what they do in their daily lives. Although the musical was first staged December of 1977, Cabrini added bonuses to the production with its multimedia elements that go along with the show.
Working is a musical with no plot line but rather a musical with multiple small plays.
It’s morning and all the workers get ready for their jobs and show the audience the answer to the question, “Hey somebody, don’t you wanna hear the story of my life?” in the song “All The Live Long Day.” A steelworker by the name of Mike Dillard talks to audience about the dangers of his job and how people don’t give enough credit to the people who are “just an iron worker or just a housewife.”
Next the musical starts back up abruptly with a traffic jam by the song titled the same name. Some cars stop at an office building and parking attendant Al Canida takes care of the massive pileup. He’s been parking cars for all of his life in the song, “Lovin’ Al.”
The next scene opens up in a classroom where Rose Hoffman teaches third grade English. In the song “Nobody Tells Me How,” she begins to enlighten the audience on how the school system is changing since she was growing up.
As Hoffman reflects on her years of teaching, she remembers a student of hers named Babe Secoli, who is now a checker at the Treasure Island Supermarket. Secoli is played by senior communications major Danielle Alio.
“I like that it’s really relatable and can look at it and say someone in my family has done that kind of job or I have done that job,” Alio said.“People in the Cabrini community have done some of these jobs.”
As Secoli shows that being a checker is the best time of her life, on the opposite end, bagger Roberto Nunez is unhappy about his job choice. In the song “Un Mejor Dia Vendra,” he reflects on his family working on a farm and the hardships that came of it.
Kate Rushston, a housewife complains about people thinking she’s unintelligent just because she chooses to stay and take care of all the work at the home with the song “Just A Housewife.”
With a different spin, a hooker by the name of Roberta explains to the audience that her job isn’t different from someone who works in a mill all day. Roberta is played by junior history major, Olivia Olsen.
“I had to put myself in the mindset of it actually being a real job because I never considered it to be one,” Olsen said. “Maybe the only reason why she still is one is because of how good it pays.”
Grace Clements is a millworker who feels like all of the physical stress on the body is taking its toll in the song “Millwork.” Junior communication major Alex Saboe plays a dancer in the scene and couldn’t be happier with the role that was given to her.
“My favorite part in the play is when I dance because I always feel like being in school I may be doing homework or schoolwork,” Saboe said. “But my mind is always wandering and thinking of dancing.”
The play has another key song, called “Cleaning Women,” in which cleaning woman Maggie Holmes talks about wanting a better life for her daughter. Holmes is played by freshman criminology major, Se’Quia Bailey.
“I like how the musical captures different lifestyles and people,” Bailey said. “This musical means a lot to me especially in my role as Maggie the cleaning lady. It helps me appreciate cleaning people because I believe we always look at them as having meaningless jobs.”
The cast is excited about the message that they will bring to their audience.
“Working” portrays the message that everybody should have something to point to.
“The message this musical showcases is that you should be proud of the job that you are doing,” Alio said.
“Working” opens in the Grace Hall Theatre on Thursday, April 12, at 8 p.m. and runs through April 14 at 8 p.m., then on Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m. It then runs Thursday, April 19, at 8 p.m. through April 21, at 8 p.m. The Closing performance is on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m.