‘Working’ is worth it

LIHU‘E — “Working” is the perfect musical for anyone who has ever worked a day in their life — including you.

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may even ask for a raise.

“It’s life in 90 minutes,” Director Ross Martineau said.

Based on Studs Terkel’s famous interviews with workers in Chicago, and adapted by Stephen Schwartz —composer of “Wicked” and “Godspell” — and Nina Faso, the musical paints a vivid portrait of the men and women the world so often takes for granted: schoolteachers, phone operators, waitresses, mill workers, truck drivers, masons and housewives.

Presented by the Kaua‘i Community Players, “Working” kicks off Thursday with a pay-what-you-can preview, and continues for three weekends through May 19 at the Puhi Theatrical Warehouse.

The production is Martineau’s third as a director, having previously tackled “Eight” and “Parallel Lives.” He performed in “Working” nearly 30 years ago as an undergraduate student at the University of New Hampshire, before he went on to earn a master’s degree in acting from the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

Martineau said the play is a musical exploration of 25 people from all walks of life, and promises his audiences lots of laughs.

“Both funny and touching, the strength of the show is in the core truths that transcend specific professions,” states a release. “The key is how people’s relationships to their work ultimately reveal significant aspects of their humanity, regardless of the trappings of the job itself.”

Set in contemporary America, the show allows the audience to get a rare glimpse of the actors and technicians working to put on a show.

The music is written by several composers, including Schwartz, Mary Rodgers and James Taylor. Musical direction for the Kaua‘i production is by Kauai’s theatrical mastermind Arnold Meister.

Martineau said his cast features a number of seasoned veterans, including Meister, Deb Baumung, Dottie Bekeart, Jeff Demma, Jennifer Downs, Erin Gaines, Bailey Hutton, Dennis McGraw, Billy Quibido, Jessica Silver, Delia Valentin and Ron Wood.

It’s “unlike any musical anyone has ever seen,” he said.

The pay-what-you-can preview begins at 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are available at the door only.

Friday and Saturday performances through May 19 begin at 7 p.m., with Sunday matinees starting at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for adults, with discounts available for KCP members, seniors and students. All tickets are $5 off during opening weekend.

For more information or to purchase tickets in advance visit www.kauaicommunityplayers.org or call Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006.

The Puhi Theatrical Warehouse is at 4411 E. Kikowaena Street in Puhi, behind the Harley Davidson dealership.

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