‘Working’ is working at SCP

By Ande Jacobson

Sunnyvale Community Players (SCP) is bringing a diverse and timely show to their stage on 10 September 2022 with its production of Working a Musical. The show runs for four weeks through 2 October 2022. Working has been rejiggered for our current times. It celebrates the lives of the essential workers we all rely on every day and has added some new songs mixed in with the old in this broad collaboration. The show was adapted from Studs Terkel’s book by Nina Faso, Stephen Schwartz, and Gordon Greenberg with songs by Craig Carnelia, James Taylor, Mary Rodgers, Micki Grant, Stephen Schwartz, Susan Birkenhead, and Lin-Manual Miranda expanding it from the original show. Terkel’s book grew out of interviews of real people talking about their jobs and the struggles they faced while so often being forgotten by the world around them.

This sample from the first sitzprobe when the cast and band came together for the first time is enticing with its high energy.

The staff includes:

  • Director: Thomas Times
  • Music Director: Val Zvinyatskovsky
  • Choreographer: Katie O’Bryon
  • Vocal Director: Stacy Levin
  • Producer: Sam Elder

Director Thomas Times has a unique vision for the show and is excited to mold it into something very different from previous productions as he explains in the following short promotional video.

The characters in the show are especially relevant today as the story highlights the importance of the essential workers in all of our communities, especially since the pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives the world over.

Times has been involved with SCP for a few years now starting with a breakout production of Urinetown in 2019. His vision always includes some unspoken secrets that help the actors frame the action and their character backstories in ways that make every show he does relatable for the audience members. Then as now, he casts with an eye for diversity that makes the audience easily identify with the characters in the story on stage.

Vocal Director Stacy Levin is also excited about this show. Musically, the show has something for everyone as it combines numerous musical styles including gospel, country, along with classical and contemporary musical theater styles from the seven different composers in this new updated production.

Choreographer Katie O’Bryon has done shows all over the Bay Area as an actor, director, and a choreographer. Her choreography is always crisp and clean and makes the cast look great!

The cast includes:

  • Angie Alvarez
  • Keith Brown
  • Evan Espinosa
  • Naomi Evans
  • Joseph Galang
  • Chloey Garza
  • Lex Lindquist
  • Ryan Liu
  • Evalina Maas-Espinoza
  • Curtis Murray
  • Monica Payne
  • Matt Regan
  • Collin Seaman
  • Kim Seipel
  • Peter Spoelstra
  • Leigh Trautman

Music Director Val Zvinyatskovsky first performed at SCP in 2019 in the Urinetown pit when he was only 13! Now at 16, Working will be his second time with SCP. Although young, Zvinyatskovsky is an accomplished musician, actor, and theater tech/designer, and he will be leading his band from the keyboard for this production. This is his second time music directing having also led from the keyboard for a production of Falsettos earlier this year.

Scored for a small combo, the band includes:

  • Music Director/Keyboard: Val Zvinyatskovsky
  • Bass: George Alfs; Greg Goebel
  • Drums: Peter Wallack
  • Guitar: Thinh Nguyen

Tickets are available online, and again, the show runs Thursdays – Sundays, 10 September – 2 October 2022.

Performances are at the Sunnyvale Community Theater located at: 550 E. Remington Dr., Sunnyvale CA 94087.

SCP’s COVID-19 precautions have loosened slightly although they are still requiring audience members to wear a mask at all times when in the theater. Any patron not complying with the mask rules will be ejected. While they encourage patrons to get vaccinated, proof of vaccination is no longer required.

Please join Sunnyvale Community Players for this production. It’s been a difficult couple of years in the face of the pandemic, and these performers are excited to share their celebration of the essential workers we all know and love and depend on for so much in our daily lives.


References:
Working: A Musical Original London Cast Recording Working: A Musical Original London
Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, by Studs Terkel
https://agoodreedreview.com/2021/12/11/val-z-profile/

(Photos and videos courtesy of Sunnyvale Community Players)


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