Stationary: A Recession Era Musical features honest songs about dead-end jobs

Photo courtesy of Luca Ragogna.
Photo courtesy of Luca Ragogna.
Photo courtesy of Luca Ragogna.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re stuck in a job you don’t like just to pay the bills, or you’re just waiting for your life to start, you’ll relate to Stationary and its cast of young, unsatisfied office workers.

The set looked like a typical office with claustrophobic cubicles, a reception area, and a management office. There was also the cliché of a blooming romance between the cute receptionist (Lizzie, played by Christine Quintana), and the office nice guy (new kid Aiden, played by Anton Lipovetsky).

This group of exceptionally talented actors and musicians brought the story to life through relatable songs like “Monday” about the struggle to get through that first work day of the week, and “Comin’ for You” about the fantasy of taking out revenge on a terrible boss.

The theme of feeling stuck in a dead end job and waiting for the start of one’s life runs through this show. The characters feel their lives are stationary — not just in terms of their careers, but also in a financial sense, being unable to afford houses, for instance.

Britta (Claire Hesselgrave) and Mel (Meaghan Chenosky) hate their jobs and their boss Anna (Mishelle Cuttler), and resolve to quit if Mel doesn’t get the new Assistant Manager position; Ana, meanwhile, is eyeing Brad (Brian Cochrane) for the role.

Anna’s diatribes are so well written. I loved lines such as, “I don’t understand where the breakdown in communication occurred,” and “You have a tendency to get overwhelmed and make mistakes, so I want to support you by making things as clear as possible.”

Britta stood out as my favourite character. She played the disgruntled, fed up, hungover office worker we all know and love, and I loved both her authentic disdain for her job, and her passionate singing about hurting her boss. Lipovetsky as the naïve, bright eyed Aiden, also gave a great performance, and Cochrane added some hip hop flair with his witty rap songs.

The best part about this musical was how integrated the instruments were. Anna’s desk, for example, flipped open to reveal a piano underneath, and a few musicians sitting in the cubicles at the back of the stage seamlessly emerged to join in with the musical numbers.

For anyone who knows what it’s like to drag oneself to a job while waiting for your real life to begin, this musical will have you shouting in solidarity with the cast, and inspire you to quit your dead end job before you’re stationary for too long.

Stationary: A Recession Era Musical was presented by Delinquent Theatre April 21 – May 2 at The Cultch. For more information, visit thecultch.com.

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