In this era of extreme income inequality and impermanent jobs, how much are our lives defined by the things we do in return for money?
What does it mean to be a truck driver? Or a prostitute? A press agent, a teacher or a mason?
How does a woman see herself if society labels her as a "housewife" or a "waitress?"
These are just a few of the questions and issues raised by the Savannah Stage Company's provocative production of "Working: A Musical," which continues for one more weekend on the intimate stage at the Space Station at Starlandia Art Supply.
Directed by Jayme Tinti, the play moves quickly through the short monologues and 14 songs that explore real life experiences, rough edges and all. The eight cast members remain on stage throughout the show, often miming various types of tedious work while other actors speak or sing.
Based on the book by the legendary Studs Terkel, "Working" includes song by multiple artists, including James Taylor's "Millwork," which is sung here with much emotion by McKenna Lyons and the rest of the cast.
Music director and pianist Paul Osterman and percussionist Cydnei Prather are set up center stage, keep the pace moving and occasionally take on other roles.
In addition to Lyons, the fine ensemble includes Ashley Cook, Sandie Lee, Malinda K. Smith, Bryan Pridgen and Wesley Pridgen.
The production includes some powerful voices - almost too powerful for such a small space.
For me, "Working" was at its best during the moments when there was a little less stage business and more emphasis on just the words and lyrics, like during Bryan Pridgen's moving rendition of Stephen Schwartz's "Fathers and Sons" near the end of the play.
Given the positive response to "Working" through its first two weekends, I would strongly advise reserving seats in advance via Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $15.
The final two performances of "Working: A Musical" will be at 8 p.m. on July 28 and 29 at the Space Station at Starlandia, 2436 Bull St.
Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com) and hissing lawns (www.hissinglawns.com). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.