A fast-food delivery worker replaces the newspaper boy. Some other characters and their stories have been updated. There's new songs as well – two by none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame – one of which is about the fast-food worker.
So if you can't make it to Broadway for that sold-out show with 16 Tony Award nominations, your next best bet is to come to Main Street Theater's two-act production of Working, based upon Studs Terkel's 1974 book — a series of interviews with workers in all sorts of jobs.
“Miranda also wrote a duet for the piece which is unique to the piece, which up to then had been solos. It's between two different kinds of home care workers. One is a health-care worker for an elderly man, and the other is a nanny, both of which are immigrants,” says director Andrew Ruthven.
"You have people like the waitress, who takes pride in her job and loves her job, and the stonemason, who's building something that lasts," Ruthven says. "The reason for us to do these stories is to remind us we all have work. You're part of the communal workforce even though some big person's name may be on the building, like Esperson or Trump. What they say in the show is that everyone's name should be on that building. We all make up that collective work. "
Ruthven promised moments both heartbreaking and funny as the cast of 12 – six men and six women – take the stage while the band plays on the second floor above them in Main Street's remodeled home. It will be the first time they perform in the round, Ruthven says, and the stories told start with going to work and end with quitting time at the end of the day.
Performances are scheduled for May 21 through June 19 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713-524-6706 or visit mainstreettheater.com. $36-$42.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.