Dueling Critics: Studs Terkel’s 'Working' musical

March 11, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Photo courtesy of Theatre in Chicago)
'Working' the musical is now playing at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago through May 8.

More than one writer has referred to the labor protests in Wisconsin as political theater, but the plight of the American worker is also playing out on a literal stage near you. Working is currently at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago through May 8.

The production is based on the famous 1974 book by Studs Terkel titled
Working: People Talk About What They Do all Day and How They Feel About What They Do. The book transcribes Studs' interviews with all kinds of workers – housewives, CEOs, professional athletes and washroom attendants. Many of the people he spoke with lived and worked here in Chicago.

The musical first premiered in Chicago in 1977. Dueling Critics Kelly Kleiman and Jonathan Abarbanel discuss whether Working the musical works as well as Studs' classic book.