VINTAGE PLAYBILL: Working, 1978, Featuring Patti LuPone, Joe Mantegna and Bob Gunton
By Brynn Cox
The revised version of Working, featuring new material by Lin-Manuel Miranda, opens Off-Broadway Dec. 12 at 59E59. The Playbill Vault looks back at the show's Broadway premiere 34 years ago.
Stephen Schwartz opened his new musical Working on May 14, 1978, his first Broadway premiere since the successes of Godspell, The Magic Show, and Pippin. Adapted from the book of interviews by Studs Terkel, the collaborative musical featured songs from Schwartz, James Taylor, and Mary Rodgers.
Though New York Times reviewer Richard Eder lauded the "absolutely first-rate cast," he found the musical "out of focus," and it closed after 24 performances. His next musical Rags closed after just four performances, but nearly 20 years later he returned with the international smash hit Wicked, now in its ninth year on Broadway.
The original cast of Working included pre-Evita Patti LuPone and Bob Gunton and pre-Glengarry Glen Ross Joe Mantegna. In their Who's Who bios, the actors and creatives reflect on their own career highlights and lowlights in and outside of the theatre, including window-washing, farming and cleaning motel toilets.
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