Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Our community theater just performed Working, the musical based on Studs Terkel's interviews with Chicago laborers. (Hence the radio silence here on the blog during production week.) My two oldest girls and I were in the show, playing a variety of working-class joes. Wish you all could have seen it, but here are our selections.

I was an aging teacher, bitter about the changes that the years had wrought in my classroom. The lady who sings it here belts it out and is working hard on her American accent (this being from the London cast recording), but I played it lighter and a bit more dotty, based in part on the five-foot chemistry professor who trotted into Chem 101 at 9:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and chirped, "Who's excited about science?" to a bunch of sleepy freshmen.

Also, I wish you all could have seen my coke-bottle glasses, in which I was nearly blind, but which magnified my eyes to crazy-scientist levels.

This song was composed by Mary Rodgers, daughter of Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers and Hammerstein). Listen for the Sound of Music nod in the very last line.

My oldest daughter, 17, was a delivery girl dreaming of a better life. The character is named Freddy Rodriguez in the script, but she used the name Delores Ramirez as a tribute to her great-grandmother. This song was added for the 2012 revival and was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

My second daughter, 15, played an immigrant nanny. "Minamahal kita" means "I love you" in Tagalog -- when she sang that, she signed "I love you". She was so pleased to have this song because it is reportedly Lin-Manuel Miranda's favorite song.

We'll miss the thrill of performing, but it is a relief to have our evenings back.

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