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Working: A Musical

From 81 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Relevant, Disappointing, Clever

About the show

Based on the Studs Terkel book of the same name, "Working: A Musical" celebrates the vital roles played by those who make our country run. Starring Andrea Burns, Helen Hunt, Christopher Jackson and Javier Muñoz. More…

From the show:

Originally adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, Off-Center’s new incarnation incorporates fresh stories from City Center’s own staff, in honor of our 75th Anniversary Season, alongside old favorites such as “Just a Housewife,” “Millwork,” and “Fathers and Sons.” Two new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda enrich the score by an already illustrious and eclectic list of songwriters: Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, and James Taylor as well as Schwartz.

Member Reviews (81)


Great singing, Entertaining, Relevant, Disappointing, Clever
Avg Score

Relevant, Disappointing, Some good performances, Entertaining

See it if you love revues. Gd premise to spotlight diff jobs. Some songs/actors effective, others aren't..Hunt lacks presence (weird gestures) & voice

Don't see it if you want polished prodn. Choreog amateurish, then disappears. Songs uneven. City Center thread becomes tedious...and why so much nepotism?

Diverting, Cliched, Entertaining, Plotless

See it if u want to see a cast of middling singers perform in concert a hodge-podge of jaunty songs about employment by a variety of noted songwriters

Don't see it if u seek a fully-staged production; u want any new insights into what it means to be gainfully employed (or not); u expect a plot or storyline

Also One of the new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda ("Delivery") and perhaps th... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Slow, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if Timely revival of musical about the populist joys/woes of work & its weighty place in American ethics Very well sung/acted; Burns steals it

Don't see it if Despite its potency in current affairs, overall effect is rather listless & doesn't resonant Newly drafted tribute to City Center shines

Series of clever songs that illustrate how important work is to feed the stomachs & souls of the working poor; but forgettable

See it if insightful at times moving lyrics; strong performances particularly by Chris Jackson; shows how work links the generations

Don't see it if song showcase, rather than a musical w a plot; few show-stoppers; dated view of work not addressing MeToo/ inequality/the undocumented

Also Musical attempts to draw together the songs by focusing the show on th... Read more Read less

Great singing, Slow, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Hear/singing about people in all different jobs (plus about Employees of NYC Center).

Don't see it if Not a fan of singing musical, no flash

Also All in all I like this show, it had alot of different job represent in... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Disappointing, Banal, Great singing

See it if Great performers, singers & dancers; terrific band; Helen Hunt is a pleasant surprise with her singing/acting; Christopher Jackson is a joy.

Don't see it if The disappointing part is the music which starts to get boring 1/4 of the way in; Working has really never worked in all its incarnations.

Overrated, Insipid, Disappointing, Dated, Banal

See it if you want to see two pros—Andrea Burns and David Garrison—steal the show.

Don't see it if you have the opportunity to see another production of "Working".

Also About five years ago, the Prospect Theatre Company produced a revival ... Read more Read less

Great choreography, Relevant, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see an Off-Center musical about the highs and lows of jobs. Written by various famous lyricists. Great cast!

Don't see it if You expect elaborate set and full production. Collection of different song styles and themes.

Also Actors include Christopher Jackson and Javier Munoz. One of NY City Ce... Read more Read less

Revue of songs with differing views on work

See it if Talented cast of singers handle songs by various composers about how much the characters like or hate their jobs. Four dancers are excellent

Don't see it if David Garrison's song "Joe" by Craig Carnelia about a retired working stiff, made me sad. Why doesn't this bored guy ever go to the theater?

Relevant, Entertaining, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a fantastic cast perform an updated and relevant revival. Interesting how they weaved in City Center employee stories.

Don't see it if you want to see a musical with a clear narrative arc and story. This is basically a collection of vignettes.

Worthwhile, Entertaining, Great singing, Relevant, Heartfelt

See it if interested in show about everyday workers told in vignettes & songs. Updated revival with added new material. Often touching, Well performed

Don't see it if you want a show with a follow-thru story line. Some scenes work better than others.

Intelligent, Great writing, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a real surprise hit. WOW

Don't see it if Just see it!!!!!!

Also I saw the original in the late 70s and it was a bore. This reimagining... Read more Read less

Talented cast of actors & dancers, Simple staging for complex lives, Thoughtful, Heartfelt story-telling, Meaningful

See it if a sparse-yet-pertinent reflection on diverse workers, and their contributions to American life, appeals; you are a fan of any cast member.

Don't see it if anticipating a shocking, over-the-top, and lavish production; would prefer the original production without the NY City Center stories added.

Also Working: A Musical, rooted in Studs Terkel’s book, has been updated fo... Read more Read less

Relevant, Some great songs, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you're up for great songs well delivered, depicting a wide range of professions. James Taylor, Stephen Schwartz, Lyn-Manuel Miranda, etc.

Don't see it if you're looking for a big production. This has a small band, but the singers were great.

Also I had never seen a production of Working before, so I'm not sure how t... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Relevant, Great singing, Great acting

See it if A revised book, with some new material, of this revival about "working people."Focus is on employees of City Center.Great performances

Don't see it if You prefer large scale musicals with big casts and elaborate production numbers.

Wonderful performances, A variety of characters, seen through their job, Moving and touching, A tribute to the working man and woman

See it if You’re tired of being a member of the beaten-down middle class and want someone to sing your praises for a change.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a fully staged show. This one, per the usual Encores approach, is staged very simply.

Also I came for the two new songs by Lin-Manuel and stayed to enjoy everyth... Read more Read less

Exquisite, Moving, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if You forget to think about all the people around you and want to see a show that puts them in the spotlight.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals

Slow, Entertaining, Great writing

See it if You're interested in one of Schwartz's lesser known works with good new material from LMM; you enjoy slice of life pieces without a plot

Don't see it if You're expecting universally good songs or's a bit uneven throughout. But the highlights make it worth the night, methinks

Sad, Relevant, Great singing, Dated, Delightful

See it if See it for heartfelt personal stories, great singing, and some fine songs.

Don't see it if The James Taylor songs are amusingly easy to spot. You're expecting a plot, this is more of a revue.

Touching, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great singing, Poignant

See it if some beautiful songs and fabulous voices. Andrea Burns a standout but strong overall cast. Solid Encores production.

Don't see it if you want a plot driven show-this is mostly a collection of songs. Some of the narratives worked better than others. Some clunky transitions.

Relevant, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you want to see a stellar cast. There are some great songs and the show will make you think about the people who work hard but go unnoticed.

Don't see it if you are looking for a story. The show is a concert featuring songs about people who work in different professions. It's nothing special.

Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if Great ensemble in Revue format (like Smoky Joe’s Cafe) drawing upon Studs Terkel work about common folk discussing their work

Don't see it if It’s a revue not a play butis delightful and full of very talented people like Chris Jackson, ANDREA Burns, Javier Muñoz and great dancing

Great writing, Delightful, Entertaining, Must see, Great singing

See it if You would like to see good dancing and singing with average people taking about their jobs.

Don't see it if You can’t get out to see a good show.

Simple staging, Resonant, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You like show that are made up of vignettes with one overarching theme vs. a show with a traditional plot.

Don't see it if You like elaborately staged productions or need shows with a show that has a conflict and resolution.

Relevant, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if you love the writers, or want to see a treatment of labor, through song and monologue, that is occasionally on target.

Don't see it if the show doesn't hang together; it feels episodic and slight. The best part is that it is specifically updated for the site [city center].

June 27th, 2019
"For the 75th anniversary of New York City Center, the creators of this season’s Encores! Off-Center summer series of staged concerts came up with the charming idea of interviewing City Center employees and weaving their stories into the fabric of a show...I wish that the show in which they appea...
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June 27th, 2019
"This latest iteration, performed by a cast of eight talented principals, shows why the material remains relevant and relatable...As for the presentation, it's pleasantly entertaining, if somewhat lacking in vitality — marred by some static staging, abrupt transitions and a problematic sound mix ...
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June 27th, 2019
"This well-intentioned but forced reworking leads to uneven results in what is otherwise an enjoyable and high-spirited 90-minute production...The City Center-focused monologues do not fit in well with the rest of the musical and tend to be slow and repetitive. However, it was a novel idea to pay...
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June 27th, 2019
"The lovely thing about Anne Kauffman's Off-Center production is that it's delivered with a wholesome spirit of generosity and gratitude, and expects nothing in return...It's one of the more modest productions City Center has seen in recent years...This production hasn't been created for City Cen...
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