REVIEW: “Working, A Musical” Takes on Real Life

A wonderful review today in the Press Telegram and Grunion Gazette. Here are excerpts:

With the first beats of the opening number, they have you. The powerful vocals produced by this cast are worth the price of admission alone. A small cast of 13 manage to sound like 30, filling the First Congregational Church sanctuary in a thrilling way.

Sean McMullin, The Grunion, June 7, 2022

And more details about the production:

Director Megan O’Toole has assembled, from her resources at First Congregational Church and beyond, a team suited to tell these stories. This production, like so many other community theater, college and high school productions, is the true home for these stories. This is the reason it endures.

Small theatre companies that have wonderful talent equipped to play regular folks are rare. Here it rings true. On Broadway and regionally, it struggles to find what comes so easily to performers who hold down jobs in addition to performing.

It is well and truly on display in the number “If I could have been,” a lament about the path not taken. Those of us of a certain age know what that feels like — the wondering what could have been, if only.

Embracing this theme completely was standout Lisa Bode, whose channeling of the Millworker, and powerhouse vocals, skillfully and easily breaks your heart. It isn’t all longing however, the jubilant performance of Fast Food Worker by Capone X. Walker is as delightful as Walker’s smile is infectious.

As an ensemble, this collection of folks of all ages, ethnicities and shapes and sizes creates the feeling of an authentic cross section of our city.

Sean McMullin, The Grunion, June 7, 2022

Read the full review online here: https://www.presstelegram.com/2022/06/07/showbuzz-working-a-musical-takes-on-real-life/

In The News: Landmark Returns at First Congregational

The Long Beach Press Telegram posted a nice feature about Landmark’s return to the stage with Working: A Musical. Here are a few excerpts.

Long Beach Landmark Theatre Company is back to work – after reconnecting with its roots.

After a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the theater recently resumed live performances in the First Congregational Church of Long Beach, from which it originated.

“Working: a Musical,” which began its run May 27 and ends June 12, marks a departure from the Broadway adaptations Landmark initially focused on. But it’s also a return to the social justice roots upon which the First Congregational Church of Long Beach was founded.

“We’re working to illuminate the current social climate,” Megan O’Toole, the driving force behind the theater company, said on the group’s website, “and issues that are affecting our local community and the world.”

– Long Beach Press Telegram – June 3, 2022

In regards to Working: A Musical…

In looking for a piece to return to live performances, they were drawn to “Working: a Musical,” which focuses on interviews with people from various regions and occupations.

The musical is an adaptation of the book, “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do,” written in 1974 by Studs Terkel, an oral historian and radio broadcaster.

The musical is a deep dive into the hearts of people from all walks of life.

Landmark was able to secure the rights to an updated version of the show, which allows a production that expands the material to include interviews with local residents about their work lives and what matters most to them.

Through what O’Toole called “a true celebration of our city,” this production embraces local community members and values each person’s contribution to the city.

“‘Working’ is a vibrant and energetic musical,” O’Toole said, “that illuminates the humanity of the American worker.”

– Long Beach Press Telegram – June 3, 2022

Read the full article online at: https://www.presstelegram.com/2022/06/03/long-beach-landmark-theatre-returns-at-first-congregational-church/

Angie, A Mortgage Advisor Asst.

The first in our series of Working in Long Beach. Meet Angie, a mortgage advisor asst.

Landmark is talking to our community about their working lives. We want to know, what do you do for work?

Landmark’s production of Working: A Musical opens May 27 and runs through June 12. Tickets and information online at https://lblandmark.org/working/

Working in Long Beach – A Video Series

As we embark on our production of Working, our first show back after more than 2 years, we are examining what it means to work.  Our work is unfolding not only in our rehearsal room, but also in our local community.  

All of us are defined by our work.  By our hopes and dreams and by our individual struggle to build something larger than ourselves.

Join us as we share the stories of Long Beach’s working lives through an online video series that includes local artisans, tradespeople, executives, service workers, and more, as well as the stories of Landmark’s artists – of their careers and working lives.

This story will unfold on Landmark’s social media – Facebook & Instagram – as well as on our website at https://lblandmark.org/working

Landmark announces three upcoming productions

Landmark is thrilled to announce three upcoming productions, continuing our commitment to challenging works that engage and inspire.  

From the heart of Long Beach, we are presenting a slate of fully realized musical theater productions that illuminate and address the current social climate and issues affecting our local community and the world.

  • Working: A Musical – Opening May 27
  • Jonathan Larsen’s Rent – Fall 2022
  • Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins – Spring 2023

Details have been announced online at https://lblandmark.org/upcoming

Long Beach Gives 2021

Landmark is thrilled to again be a part of Long Beach Gives. Please consider joining us for our city’s annual day of online giving on September 24.

The 24-hour online fundraiser provides an easy and fun way for our entire city to give together. It also provides Long Beach nonprofits the opportunity to gain exposure and start relationships with new donors. 

In 2020, over 7,000 donors made a difference in the mission-critical services of nonprofits impacting our city.

Long Beach Gives is returning on Thursday, September 23, 2021 with a $2 million goal!

Visit longbeachgives.org to learn more about how you can support this citywide effort!

Landmark Announces Community Engagement Partnership with DAYS Long Beach

Long Beach Landmark Theatre Company is thrilled to announce a community engagement partnership with DAYS Long Beach: an educational programming and youth development mainstay in the community for over 50 years.

On Friday, June 18, 2021, Landmark was honored to participate in the “Paletas and a Movie” event at Cesar Chavez Elementary School; a family friendly celebration of learning, community, vaccinations, theatre, and paletas!!

Landmark was thrilled to present “The Great Kapok Tree” a bilingual presentation of the book by Lynne Cherry with music by Long Beach’s own Paul Boyd-Batstone.

In collaboration with The Long Beach Unified School District, Dr. Juan Benitez – Board of Education LBUSD District 3, Councilwoman Mary Zendejas, Long Beach Forward, and TCC Family Health, this event was the perfect summer kick-off! 

Long Beach Gives 2020

Landmark is thrilled to be a part of Long Beach Gives 2020. Early Donations begin on September 17 and the big day is September 24.

Long Beach Gives is our city’s annual day of online giving. The 24-hour online fundraiser provides an easy and fun way for our entire city to give together. It also provides Long Beach nonprofits the opportunity to gain exposure and start relationships with new donors. 

Our goal is to inspire individuals and businesses in our community to come together to make a difference in the exemplary work of the 150+ local, participating nonprofits. The success of Long Beach Gives last year helped raise awareness about nonprofits and the critical role they play in our community. We surpassed our $350,000 fundraising goal and raised over $822,000 for the 93 participating organizations. 

Long Beach Gives is returning on Thursday, September 24, 2020 with a $1 million goal and 150+ participating nonprofits serving the city of Long Beach!

Visit longbeachgives.org to learn more about how you can support this citywide effort!