Baldwin Theatre, Royal Oak
ROYAL OAK – It’s an ordinary day in the lives of some ordinary folks, such as the Sandman, Mother Nature, Life, Death, and Father Time. They’re just your average working stiffs, facing the day-to-day challenges and petty frustrations of the work-a-day world. But ordinary events quickly become extraordinary when Death makes a startling discovery that threatens everyone’s livelihood.
Stagecrafters kicks off their 2007-08 season with the world premiere of “Working Stiffs,” a comedy/satire written by playwright Edward J. Thomas of Centerline. Thomas, who has written dozens of plays, also acts and directs. He says that Working Stiffs actually grew out of combining pieces of three of his one-act plays. One of these, “Life and Death on a Park Bench,” premiered in Stagecrafters’ 2005 New Works Play Festival. Another, “The Sandman Cometh,” had its New York premiere in 2006. Of “Working Stiffs,” Thomas said in a statement, “I’ve never once seen ‘Life’ as a character. So I wrote a play for Life, and went on to give Death all the good lines.”
Director Gwenn Bashara Samuel of Grosse Pointe said in a statement, “It’s always fascinating to present a new work. The cast feels more ownership of the play than a usual cast might because of the rare opportunity to create the characters for the first time, and to put their own imprints on the roles and the play. It is wonderful to see a play as good as this one evolve into something even a bit better.”
The talented and eclectic cast is drawn from surrounding communities. It includes veteran actors Phil Berns (Father Time) of Lathrup Village, Sandi Glover (Life) of Ferndale, and Steve Melling (War) of Fraser. Cast members who are new to the Baldwin’s stage include Crystal Brock (Maggie/Margaret) of Oak Park and Jeff Priskorn (Sandy) of Troy, both of whom have also done work in film and television. Joel Silverman (Death) of Franklin is a new graduate of Specs Howard, and looks forward to a career in radio and voice work. Rounding out the cast are Sherita Humphrey (Mother Earth) of Detroit and Meghan Mott (Mother Nature) of Rochester Hills, both of whom have appeared in productions elsewhere.
“It’ll be the most fun you’ll have at least until the year Bob!” said Thomas. “And if you want to know what that means, you’ll have to come see the show.”
“Working Stiffs” is being sponsored by Miner’s Den Jewelers of Royal Oak. Adding to the fun, Miner’s Den is offering a free troll bracelet to the first 25 people through the Baldwin’s doors on Oct. 13 and 20. In addition, every audience member will receive a $5 dollar gift card to the Miner’s Den – just a little something for all of us working stiffs.
Tickets for shows are $12 with the exception of Student Night on Oct. 18 where students with a valid ID get in for half price. This show is recommended for ages 14 and older. Call 248-541-6430 for tickets. The 2nd Stage, a black box theater, is located in the former balcony of the Baldwin Theatre.