“Working” is a musical about the unsung jobs of the world. From millworkers to masons and from house mothers to delivery men and retirees, the musical portrays the lives of average working people.
Sunnyvale Community Players (SCP) will premiere its latest show on Saturday, Sept. 10. It will run through Sunday, Oct. 2.
“‘Working: A Musical’ is a unique show that doesn’t have one story line,” said Thomas Times, the show’s director.
Previously, Times directed “West Side Story,” which tells the story of a pair of young lovers who struggle to survive amid warring street gangs.
“Working” has its origins in a book of the same name by Studs Terkel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
“They then created a musical of vignettes based on the interviews from the book,” Times explained.
Times says what makes these stories so unique is that they are common. The vignettes represent “everyday citizens from around the world” of common workers.
“Another unique part of it is that there are many different composers who have created many different musical styles for this show,” Times went on. “The musical is a molding of many different cultures.”
Times says diversity is an important part of the production of “Working.”
“Being in the Bay Area, we really tried to ensure that different cultures are reflected in the show,” said Times. “People can’t relate if they don’t see themselves reflected in the show.
“We have truly talented actors who not only handle this show beautifully but are a uniquely diverse group that reflects modern day times,” he continued.
Ryan Liu plays the roles of Freddy, a food delivery boy, and Anthony, a mason.
“I love the songs in ‘Working,’” Liu said when asked why he chose to participate in the musical. “I’m a big Lin-Manuel Miranda fan, so I’m a bit partial to his songs in particular.
“I wanted this role since I knew [Freddy’s song] ‘Delivery’ was going to be a challenging song both vocally and physically and wanted to challenge myself,” said Liu. “I empathize with the character in many ways – he’s a hustler who is set free by his job as a delivery boy, but is also flawed in many ways.”
“I think most of the stories being told in this show are very relatable and not necessarily specific to whatever profession is being portrayed,” said Liu. “To me, the stories aren’t about delivery boys, masons, or customer service reps – they’re really more about people who long for freedom, people who take pride in their work, and people who are tired of not getting their voices heard.
“It’s been a blast working with SCP and everyone on the cast and staff have been fantastic,” Liu added.
According to Times, “Working” is the ideal musical amid recent struggles that the working class has undergone.
“We really gained a new perspective for the working class during COVID. Teachers and other essential workers became the heroes,” Times said. “This is the perfect show to build on that.
“We don’t normally wonder what the mailman down the street is thinking about, or ‘What’s that waitress thinking about?’” Times explained. “This show answers that question. These are people that have stories going beyond what they do.”
Tickets for “Working” are $44 for adults and $38 for seniors and students and are available online at the SCP website: SunnyvalePlayers.org or through the box office at (408) 475-1198.