A musical adaptation of Studs Terkel's book celebrating the lives of everyday working-class people.

Writers:

(book), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Host
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Steelworker
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Parking Attendant
Barbara Browning ...
Editor
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Secretary (as Vernée Watson)
Jay Garner ...
Corporate Executive
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Newsboy (as Billy Jacoby)
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Schoolteacher
Carole Schwartz ...
Supermarket Checker
Bill Beyers ...
Boxboy
Fausto Barajas ...
Migrant Worker
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Gas Man
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Housewife
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Call Girl
...
Millworker
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Storyline

A musical adaptation of Studs Terkel's book celebrating the lives of everyday working-class people.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

13 April 1982 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a seminar with the Dramatist's Guild of North America in December 2003, Stephen Schwartz said that directing this television production was the lowest point in his career. He believed at the time he would never write another musical and that he was in a position where he did not know what he was doing. See more »

Quotes

Nora Watson: Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Our real imaginations have not yet been challenged.
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Soundtracks

Un Mejor Dia Vendra
Music by James Taylor
Lyrics by Graciela Daniele and Matt Landers
Sung by Daniel Valdez
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User Reviews

 
Stunning portrayal of everyday working people.
1 January 2015 | by (California, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a movie episode of the TV series American Playhouse, showcasing the musical adaptation of Stud Terkel's book that portrays the everyday lives of working people.

This movie features a list of Hollywood actors and singers, from Barry Boswick to Rita Moreno, all giving stunning acting performances while telling the story of their working lives. Occupations such as steel workers, waitresses, factory workers, housekeepers, parking attendants, office personnel, firefighters and telephone operators are all portrayed here.

The visual effects were great and believable and the plot was dramatic; you can feel the stress, frustration, indifference and, at times, joy these occupations cause in these people's lives. In addition, the musical numbers sung by the actors were uplifting and catchy, with the song "What I Could Have Been" being my favorite. This song sounds nostalgic, sorrowful, but hopeful at the same time, and it reminds us how workers dream of being in something "bigger" like a celebrity or own a farm. But, this movie also reminds us that these everyday people are the ones who keep America, and the world, going.

My community college's theater did a performance of this story and I was very fortunate to be a part of the instrumental accompaniment of the play. So, this story has a special place in my heart.

Overall, it's a very meaningful story with uplifting songs that is not your conventional play or movie, but a brilliant portrayal of everyday jobs.

Grade A


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