Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Centreville High School Working

By • May 22nd, 2011 • Category: Cappies

When was the last time you asked the telephone operator how her day was, or thanked the man who built your house? When was the last time you thought about the man who delivers your packages or the woman who cleans yours bathrooms? Every day thousands of ordinary workers quietly do their part to make American life as we know it possible, but in Centreville High School’s production of the musical Working these ordinary workers are given a voice and a song.

The musical Working, written by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, is an unusual musical that consisting of various monologues and songs that voice the stories, struggles, and dreams of different workers. Centreville’s strong ensemble portrayed these workers with empathy. Vocally, the ensemble had beautiful sound complete with lovely harmonies in the choral numbers, especially “Something to Point to.”

An extremely versatile actor who wore the hats of mason, restaurant worker, migrant worker and fireman, Anthony Ingargiola proved himself capable of humor, seriousness, and excellent singing. In every part he played, he showed a deep understanding of his character. His deep, rich voice brought pathos to his two solo songs “Un Mejor Dia Vendora” and “Mason.” His voice was paralleled by his committed acting, especially in his moving monologue about the importance and significance of a firefighter’s work.

Another standout performer was MaryKate Goff who played a spunky supermarket checkout girl whose fun dance moves and strong voice made her number, “I’m Just Movin” one of the most enjoyable songs in the show. Another actor whose voice added to the show was Emily Dwornik. Her lovely voice made and sensitive acting made the audience agree that there was dignity in her work of being a good mother and wife and that no matter what condescending people say, there is nothing wrong with being “Just a Housewife.”

With a few exceptions, the cast of Working had a difficult time fully committing to their characters and remaining in character at all times. Energy flagged in a few of the numbers but this problem was remedied by a few actors whose energy made their small roles entertaining and memorable. Arjun Rao, was hilarious as a salesman who dreams of the perfect career, wife and house next to a golf course. Daniel Lindgren showed that even the CEO has a heart in his mature portrayal of a pragmatic boss who shows unexpected love for his father and his son. Mitchell Cole also brought much needed energy to his role of an ex-copy boy with wild anarchist plans.

Centreville’s multifunctional set was one of the most impressive aspects of the show. It was a multi-leveled scaffold that easily transitioned from an iron workers scaffold to a big rig truck to a telephone operators office. The scaffold was lit by neon letters built out of union signs and spelling out the title of the musical, Working. Lighting also added to show with the exception of a few dim spotlights.

Overall, Centreville put on a an enjoyable show that reminded that audience that every day men and women do difficult, boring, or unappreciated jobs. Centreville gave a voice to these men and women who are proud of who they are and proud to be Working.

Review submitted by Anna Smith of Seton.

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