The Fringe Festival will present the premiere of “The New Gig Economy, A Musical” which explores the travails of contingent workers struggling to survive without permanent employment in today’s economy.
Running from Aug. 3 to Aug. 13, the festival features hundreds of performances by numerous artists of all backgrounds.
"The New Gig Economy" is co-authored by Phil Finkelstein and Jay Juran.
Finkelstein worked for 25 years as a staff attorney for the Minnesota Nurses Association. Now in semi-retirement, he has worked temporary jobs in what economists have begun calling the “gig economy” — where workers get temporary job assignments without the wages, benefits and other guarantees of permanent employment.
Finkelstein said an estimated 25-30 percent of new jobs fall under this category. “That’s a tough way to make a living.”
“I wrote this musical because of my concern over the increasing use of contingent workers who have no benefits, hours, or future,” Finkelstein said. “Rather than write another one of my whiny novels, I thought a musical comedy might be more fun.”
“I spent close to two years working on this,” Finkelstein said.
He described his collaborative process with co-author Jay Juran: “I wrote the lyrics, I wrote the tunes, then he took them and made them far, far better.”
The musical features six actors — including Finkelstein — accompanied by guitar and piano. One of the actors and assistant producer, Luke Maas, is a former UAW union steward.
The show’s running time is 45 minutes.
“Songs are short but drive the narrative of a group of contingent workers who are trying to keep their dreams and economic boats afloat,” Finkelstein said.
“The New Gig Economy” will be performed at the Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, on the following days and times:
- August 4, at 5:30 p.m.
- August 6, at 4:00 p.m. (a performance designated as “Worker Night”)
- August 8, at 7:00 p.m.
- August 12, at 7:00 p.m.
- August 13, at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, or to reserve tickets, visit the Fringe Festival website.