Retail Broadway?
May 14, 2012 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Play based on Retail

Has anyone done plays based on working in retail? Examples would be very helpful
posted by Query to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Look into The Santa Land Diaries and Nickel and Dimed. (Does being a Santa's elf at a mall count? Possibly!)
posted by Aquifer at 6:55 PM on May 14, 2012

The only one I can think of is Eric Bogosian play SubUrbia, which takes place in the parking lot of a 7/11. Though most of the characters are aimless losers who hang out in front of the 7/11 and not the staff. It's basically a more cynical version of Clerks, told from the perspective of Jay and Silent Bob.

If movie suggestions will do, what about Empire Records?
posted by Sara C. at 6:57 PM on May 14, 2012

Also, doesn't a lot of Steel Magnolias take place in the beauty parlor? It's not exactly retail, but it's pretty close.
posted by Sara C. at 6:57 PM on May 14, 2012

Well if non-plays work, Are You Being Served is a British TV show that all takes place in a retail store.
posted by sweetkid at 6:59 PM on May 14, 2012

I saw "A Bright New Boise" this winter, which is set mostly in the break room of a Hobby Lobby. I don't want to spoil anything, but I'll just say that the main character's history really drives home the sense of hopelessness and monotony that comes with the daily grind of retail work.

So glad to be out of that, if only temporarily.
posted by SugarAndSass at 7:06 PM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Isy Suttie did a one-woman play called Love Lost in the British Retail Industry about a woman who works the checkout in a vegan supermarket.

The Silent Room: A Worker’s Musical played at last year's Minnesota Fringe Festival. According to this review, it is "an exposé on the misery of working in a corporate retail workplace. The title comes from the name of a special room at the Twin Cities IKEA where, according to [playwright Ted] Dewberry, workers are instructed to go if they have a nervous breakdown while working, so that customers will not be able to hear them crying."

Josh Macdonald's play Halo is about a young woman working at a Tim Horton's (chain coffee shop) when an image of Jesus appears on the side of the building.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:15 PM on May 14, 2012

Not quite retail, but American Buffalo takes place, mostly in a junk shop.
posted by St. Sorryass at 2:34 AM on May 15, 2012

Check out The Shop Around the Corner. From Wikipedia:
The Shop Around the Corner is a 1940 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, and Frank Morgan. The screenplay was written by Samson Raphaelson based on the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László. ... The Shop Around the Corner was dramatized in two separate half-hour broadcasts of The Screen Guild Theater, first on September 29, 1940 with Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, second on February 26, 1945 with Van Johnson and Phyllis Thaxter. It was also dramatized as a one-hour program on Lux Radio Theater's June 23, 1941 broadcast with Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche.

The film spawned a 1949 musical remake, In the Good Old Summertime, which starred Judy Garland and Van Johnson in the title roles.

The plot element of two people who detest each other, while developing an anonymous romance by email, is used in the film You've Got Mail (1998) with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, in which one of the protagonists owns a bookstore named "The Shop Around The Corner."

The Broadway musical, She Loves Me, was also inspired by the film.

According to L.A. Jarvik, the British television show Are You Being Served? was based on the comedy.
posted by kristi at 10:09 AM on May 16, 2012

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