Champlin, Johnson tapped for New York staging
Donna Lynne Champlin, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Kenita Miller are among the thesps clocking in for “Working,” the Gotham bow of the retooled version of the 1977 tuner.The redux, incorporating new material by Lin-Manuel Miranda (“In the Heights”), debuted in Florida in 2008 prior to stagings at San Diego’s Old Globe in 2010 and at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse in 2011. Champlin (“Sweeney Todd”), Nehal Joshi and Marie-France Arcilla all come to the Off Broadway incarnation after appearing in the Old Globe staging, although with some variance in their individual parts. Joe Cassidy also has been tapped for the cast along with Johnson (on board for the Broadway berth of “Hands on a Hard Body” in the spring) and Miller (“The Color Purple”). Gordon Greenberg, who’s helmed prior incarnations of the reworked “Working,” is on board to direct, with choreography by Josh Rhodes, another vet of previous stagings. Tuner, a plotless but thematically linked collection of monologues and songs from the POV of everyday workers, is based on the 1974 book by Studs Terkel. Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked”) and Nina Faso are credited with the musical’s script with contributions from Greenberg, while songs come from Schwartz, Miranda, James Taylor, Mary Rogers and Susan Birkenhead, Craig Carnelia and Micki Grant. Show is a staple in regional theaters, but has not been seen in a notable Gotham production since the short-lived Broadway run in 1978. Prospect Theater Company produces this latest “Working,” set to begin a monthlong run at Off Broadway’s 59E59 Theaters Dec. 1, with an official press opening skedded for Dec. 12.