Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Joy of "Working"

Celebrate “Working” at Caldwell Theatre Company

By Skip Sheffield

Is there anything more universal that work?
Other than eating, sleeping and breathing, probably not. Since 99 percent of us must work at something or other, why not celebrate that fact?
That in a nutshell is the musical “Working,” running through April 1 at Caldwell Theatre Company.
“Working” is a robust, energetic show, based on the book by Studs Terkel (1912-2008), a Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago radio and print journalist who spent the best part of his life chronicling the joys, trials and sorrows of the workers of the world.
Stephen Schwartz, composer of “Godspell” and “Wicked,” created “Working” in 1977 with Nina Faso. The Caldwell production is a revamped and updated version of the show that debuted at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota in 2008.
There are six members in the cast, representing various segments of American society (and one Indian tech guy in Mumbai), under the direction of Clive Cholerton.
The songs are an eclectic lot, composed by Schwartz and a half-dozen other songwriters.
Jim Ballard is a beefy, hairy guy who excels at such manly pursuits as trucker, cop, firefighter and stone mason. Michael Focas, a recent graduate of FAU, plays more white-collar roles. Musical theater veteran Barry Tarallo plays older characters such as wistful “Joe,” but is wonderfully evergreen in the ballad “The Mason” (with Jim Ballad), accompanied by himself on guitar.
If I had to pick a favorite in the female cast it would be Melissa Minyard, simply because she is so lovely, with beautiful soprano to match, so poignant in “Just a Housewife.”
For sheer power, Kareema Khouri wins hands-down with her gospel-infused delivery and such blue-collar heroes as “Cleanin’ Woman.”
Laura Holdos has her moment to shine on “Nobody Tells Me How” about the perils of teaching in an ever deteriorating school system.
“Working” is performed with economy in just 90 minutes, no intermission, backed by a lively onstage trio.
Caldwell Theatre has been a cultural treasure for more than 35 years. It certainly deserves your support; now more than ever before.
Tickets are $27-$50. Call 561-241-7432 or go to

“Sweet Charity” at Sugar Sand Park

Margot Moreland stars in the Boca Raton Theatre Guild production of the musical “Sweet Charity’ through March 18 in the Willow Theatre of Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military trail, Boca Raton. Carbonell award-winning Moreland belts such numbers as “Hey Big Spender” and “If They Could See Me Now,” in a beloved score that won the show a Best Musical Tony Award. Playing her best boyfriend is Jeffrey Bruce, with an all-professional supporting cast. Tickets are just $20 and may be reserved by calling 561-347-3948.

Sixth Festival of the Arts Boca Kicks Off March 7
The sixth annual Festival of the Arts Boca Raton kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 with a concert by the world-renowned Spanish tenor, Jose Carreras at Mizner Park Amphitheater. Performing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday will be Alfredo Rodriguez and his trio. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 9 it’s the romantic classic movie “Casablanca” with live accompaniment by the Boca Raton Symphonia orchestra.
Individual tickets are $20-$100 Call 866-571-ARTS or go to

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