Sock ‘n’ Buskin WORKING Through the Struggles of the Pandemic

Preview of the Upcoming Sock ‘N’ Buskin Production: “Working”

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Grace Condon, Clubs Editor, Junior

As all of us navigate the new challenges since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, PMHS’ Sock ‘n’ Buskin has been able to continue to produce theatrical productions in an attempt to bring some normalcy to the Pelham community. While these shows are not in their usual format, it is the familiarity that brings comfort. This spring, the six-time Tony Award nominated musical, WORKING, will be presented as a live-stream event. This past December the group mounted mounted its premier virtual production, the drama THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK.

WORKING is a musical adapted by Nina Faso and Stephen Schwartz from Pulitzer Prize winning author Studs Terkel’s book of interviews with actual working people. It celebrates the joys, frustration and heartache felt by many who feel their contribution goes unnoticed and includes music by Schwartz (PIPPIN, GODSPELL, WICKED), Lin-Manuel Miranda (HAMILTON), and Grammy-Winning singer-songwriter James Taylor (“Fire and Rain”, “Your Smiling Face”) and a host of others.

The show made its Broadway debut in 1977 and has been revived many times since to reflect the changing landscape of American jobs and workers.  The musical throws a spotlight on teachers, nurses, construction workers, police officers, waitresses, factory workers and firefighters, among others — just a few of the many men and women who play an immense role in our daily lives. 

“We are living through a time where people are feeling isolated and question whether what they do ‘counts,’ Mr. Schleifer who will be co-directing the musical with Mr. Beck, said. “This show is an amazingly upbeat celebration of the individual, and how everyone’s contribution is important.”

Since the musical will be presented in a virtual format, there is no worry of it being canceled because of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, putting on a virtual musical is no easy task. 

“There are other challenges, though. Mr. Beck and I are theatre directors, and this will be almost like shooting a movie musical. Though similar, they are two different animals!  Luckily, we have a terrific crew of folks who are helping to put this together,” said Mr. Schleifer, “Joe Egan who, in the past, has designed our stage sets, has taken on the role of location scout — finding us realistic locations where we can film some of our scenes. Frank Riccobono, who did such a great job of editing our production of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK this year will be working with us in that capacity again. Kevin Smith is our vocal director and George Croom is our orchestra director.” 

“Working is a really great musical for the virtual type of format. Because we have to be relatively separate from each other (with a few exceptions), the stories being separate from each other but also connected works very well. Overall, it’s going to be interesting how it comes all together and I’m grateful to be a part of it,” junior Oliver Tam said. 

Among the cast of nearly forty actors, singers, and dancers are Malia McClellan, Caitlin Winston, Vikram Jallipelli, Jack Dennison, Soren Bushong, Austin and Andrew Kelly, Allison and Katie Lange, Katie and Andrew Scott, as well as Bella and Vanessa Rosado. This will be the largest cast yet to have been assembled for a Sock ‘n’ Buskin musical. 

The musical is set to be filmed by April, and once made available, the link to purchase tickets will be posted here: