The 1988 classic is coming to Broadway with music by Cyndi Lauper
“Working Girl” is coming to the Great White Way.
The 1988 classic about ambitious Wall Street secretary Tess (Melanie Griffith) working her way up the corporate ladder in a man’s world – and with her mentor-turned-backstabbing boss Katherine (Sigourney Weaver) stealing her ideas – is being adapted for Broadway. Fox Stage Productions and Aged in Wood Productions made the announcement Tuesday, and revealed Cyndi Lauper will be writing the music. A production timeline and casting are pending.
Things have changed since the movie’s run – like those sky-high bangs and shoulder pads – but women are still fighting for equal pay and respect at work, which makes the story just as relevant today. Here’s six things “Working Girl” can still teach anyone who’s ever won, who’s ever lost – and who’s still in there trying.
“I’m thirty years old. Took me five years of night school, but I got my degree and I got it with honors. I know I could do a job.” – Tess
You’re not getting your dream job – or any job – without putting in the work, educating yourself, and believing you can do it. Tess commuting from Staten Island in white sneakers and big dreams is all of us. She’s gonna work hard or die trying until she gets what she wants.
“Dress shabbily and they notice the dress. Dress impeccably and they notice the woman.” – Katherine
Tess’s new boss quotes Coco Chanel to remind her secretary to dress for the job she wants, not the one she has. So the enormous hoop earrings, polka dot tights and mile-high teased hair have gotta go if she wants to be taken seriously in the office.
“I read a lot of things. You never know where the big ideas could come from.” – Tess
She didn’t go to Harvard Business School, but Tess still comes up with a solid business deal idea from a New York Post Page Six gossip item. Read everything! Think outside the box. Inspiration can strike anytime and anyplace.
“Never burn bridges. Today’s junior prick is tomorrow’s senior partner.” – Katherine
The boss puts on a polite face with even the most obnoxious subordinates, because you never know if they’ll be promoted above. Tess’s problem at the beginning of the movie is that she’s bounced from job to job for mouthing off to bosses and colleagues who treat her badly. But unless someone does something illegal, keep things civil in case you need a reference, or end up working with them again.
“You can bend the rules plenty once you get to the top, but not while you’re trying to get there. And if you’re someone like me, you can’t get there without bending the rules.” – Tess
The reason Tess rises from secretary to financial executive is because she refuses to stay in her “place” in the receptionist pool. She pitches ideas, and even sets meetings with potential clients – granted, under the guise of being her boss. You shouldn’t lie or impersonate anyone IRL, but don’t get penned in by everyone else’s expectations. Break the mold – or at least bend it.
Alice (new assistant): Maybe now would be a good time to go over what you expect of me.
Tess (now the boss): I expect you to call me Tess. I don’t expect you to fetch me coffee unless you’re getting some for yourself. And the rest we’ll just make up as we go along.
If you don’t like workplace culture, it’s on you to change it once you get to a position of power. Tess is not going to treat her secretary – now called an assistant – the same way her previous boss mistreated her.
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