• Broadway Beat

Stephen Schwartz’s “Working" Updated to Include Santa’s Furloughed Elves

by Grant Cleaveland. @cleaveland_g.

NORTH POLE - The team behind Stephen Schwartz’s musical adaptation of Studs Terkel’s Working has reportedly been revised once again, this time to include the elves that have been furloughed by Santa Claus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sources confirmed.


Working is a living, breathing show,” Schwartz told us via Zoom. “It’s constantly being updated to represent the unsung worker. The coronavirus has changed the workplace entirely, so the musical needs to change to represent the lives of the workers most affected by the pandemic: healthcare workers, frontline responders, and Santa’s unfortunately furloughed magic elves.”


The musical, which first premiered in 1977, is a series of monologues and songs featuring interviews with real working people who discuss their jobs, with multiple authors contributing updates over the years. Felicia Navidad, formerly an Associate Manager of Holiday Cheer at The North Pole, has been unable to find work since being furloughed due to COVID-19.


“There isn’t any work right now for an elf that only knows Christmas,” noted Felicia while listening to an early cut of the new additions. “I guess the government’s gonna send me $600, but that barely covers last month’s candy canes. This should be my busiest time of the year and instead I’m cooped up in my studio apartment going crazy without any work. Hey, could that be in the musical? I want a co-writing credit.”


The Broadway Beat contacted Santa, who told us it was an easy decision to furlough all of his staff.


“I’d been thinking about doing it for a while,” Santa ho ho’d. “Is that a bad thing to say? I was hemorrhaging money giving those elves health and dental insurance. And it’s not like they knew how to make PS5’s. It’s just good business. And look, now the elves' stories are going to be put in a major musical! I’d call that a win-win.”


The new revision of Working is expected to premiere at St. Luke’s Theatre in the fall of 2021, which, if conditions remain this dire, may also include songs about Santa’s furloughed reindeer.