Compelling ‘Working 2020’ explores lives of the working class through May 10 in Sherman Oaks

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Based on the 1974 book Working by Studs Terkel, Working 2020 is an updated take on the effect our work has on our lives. Oscar winner Bobby Moresco (Million Dollar Baby, Crash) has created this play in collaboration with The Actors’ Gym.

Working 2020 is a compilation of tales of working class people with differing circumstances, and how they handle their situations.

The 11 actors are quite powerful. Many have written their own monologues. One, Anne De Salvo, wrote, directed and performed her part as The Hairdresser. Some of the stories are uplifting, like The Mother, played by Elizabeth Grullon. Others, like The Fireman (Michael Pare) and The Trucker (Maureen Teefy) are shocking, yet poignant. The Waitress (Pauline Schantzer) and The Welder (Joseph Lyle Taylor) work hard, but can’t catch a break. It is these two who are, in a way, most tragic, because their fate is out of their control.

The Hustler (Goya Robles) creates his own downfall, but with the best intentions, and The Writer (Tonya Cornelisse) deludes herself into thinking she has succeeded.

What is the difference between acting and insanity?  For The Actor (Thomas Polanski) not much, apparently. The Orderly (Tom Bower) is a simple, kind man, who just wants to make things tidy for patients in the E.R., but can’t do the same for himself when tragedy strikes him at home.

There is a bit of humor in The Marriage Counselor (played by Alan Steele), a man who follows his own advice, thereby ruining his marriage. Heady stuff.

The acting is intense, and the stories, compelling.

“Working 2020” is on stage Fridays at 8pm through May 10 at Whitefire Theatre located at 13500 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. Visit whitefiretheatre.com for tickets.

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About Author

Laura Voeth has worked for some of L.A.’s most prestigious restaurants. In 2002, she began reviewing restaurants for Beverly Hills-based “Women On Top” magazine. She is also a freelance writer.

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