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View the Program


A workshop concert presentation 

October 16th and 17th 

Written by: Steve Monarque
Original Songs by: Steve Monarque & David Monarque
Directed by: Christopher Scott
with Robert Arcaro, Thomas Baker, Brett Bartholomew, Jim Conroy, Bob Jaffe, Charlton David James, Mel Johnson Jr., Steve Monarque, Rita Posillico

Saturday, October 16 at 3PM & 7PM at IBEW Local 3 Auditorium (158-11 Harry Van Arsdale Jr Ave. Flushing, NY 11365)

Sunday, October 17 at 3PM, Theater Four at Theater Row (410 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036)

Tickets are available by suggested donation, on a sliding scale. To understand what this means and what ticket price you should select, please visit the page on our Sliding Scale Initiative to learn more.

Meet the Cast and Crew

It’s 4th of July weekend, 1985. The local dive bar in this small working-class New Jersey town is doing all it can to keep the doors open– including hosting a competition with the newest invention around… karaoke. When local rock’n’roll legend John Buck returns after 20 years on the road, it turns his hometown upside down. With a vengeful heart and nothing left to live for, John is ready to give up, until a supernatural encounter with the karaoke machine changes his life forever. Join us for this story of revenge, redemption, and rock’n roll featuring an original score and an audience-participation karaoke competition every night.


That’s Life runs approximately two hours with an intermission. Please note there will be fireworks and gunshot sound effects in the presentation. That’s Life is not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Meet the Cast and Crew

Steve Monarque (Playwright and John Buck) Writer/director: Stagg Road (sci-fi thriller feature film in preproduction with Sparrow Lane Films); Simpler Times (made-for-TV movie starring Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in their last onscreen appearance together, appeared in over 20 festivals and received multiple awards); Free Country (Best Short, NYC Int’l Film Festival; Best Play, 2009 Strawberry One Act Festival, Riant Theatre, NYC, published in The Best Plays from the Strawberry One-Act Festival: Volume Six). Acting credits include: Film/TV: “Friday the 13th: the Series” (Series Regular); No Small Affair; Sixteen Candles; Under the Boardwalk. Theater: Hurrah for the Bridge (La Mama, Tom O’Horgan); Caine Mutiny Court Martial (Tamarind Theatre, Harry Mastrogeorge); Raggedy Ann Says Hello (Playwrights Horizons, Alice Spivak).

Christopher Scott (Director) Artistic Associate Amas Musical Theatre . Artistic Director Masterworks Theater Co. Off-Broadway THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Audelco Nom) EDWIN: The Story of Edwin Booth, A CLASS ACT, NANCY FRIDAY’S MY SECRET GARDEN, GOLF:THE MUSICAL (Drama Desk Nom.), FOR LOVERS ONLY, TAILS, THE BIG BANG, and GREED: A MUSICAL FOR OUR TIMES.  NYC: First Irish THE MORONS (Best Direction Nom.); YEARS OF SKY 59E59; fringeNYC (2X) I AM I WILL I DO & LORENZO at NYMF; Member The Actors Studio PDW & The Michael Howard Studio. Acting; Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional & tours, etc. Faculty NYU/CAP21, Baruch College/CUNY. visit:

Robert Arcaro (Boss) is a founding member of the Working Theater Company. He has served on the Board of Directors since 1987 and as artistic director from 1996 until 2004. Robert has been performing and producing theater for the last 40 years. He has appeared in the first professional New York productions of many original plays with the Working Theater, the Abingdon Theater, the Drilling Company, the Workshop Theater and the Italian American Repertory Theater. This past summer Robert appeared in a production of #2 Noble Kindsmen with The Drilling Company in Bryant Park. On television, he has played roles on Law and Order and Fringe and appeared in the feature film No Pay, Nudity written and directed by Lee Wilkoff starring Gabriel Byrne. Robert wishes to thank the staff, the Board and all the supporters of the Working Theater throughout the years who have made this dream a thriving reality.

Thomas Baker (Reese) is thrilled to be bringing the character of Reese to life. Leaving the small town of Poway, California, Tommy headed east at the age of 18 to make his mark in The Big Apple. He has had guest spots on The Blacklist, Neon Joe and The Deuce. A proficient drummer, he is also a member of The Primal Daze and can be seen playing around the city. As a screenwriter, Tommy just completed his first feature film draft. He is represented by The Gasser Group

Brett Bartholomew (Donny) NY stage credits include: The First Time by Jimi Cook for the Harlem Playwright’s 21 Festival and Sierra Leone on Stage at the Poet’s Den Theater. TV/Film credits include: The Punisher, FBI, Monovlogs, For Life, The Blacklist, I Know This Much Is True, Evil, Ways & Means, Call Jane. Mr. Bartholomew was born in Hackettstown, New Jersey. He makes his Working Theater debut in this production.

Jim Conroy (Frankie) (SAG-AFTRA) is an Actor/Writer/Producer. His 20 years in the
industry runs the gamut from Voice Overs featured in commercials, cartoons,
animated film and video games, to OnCamera work in film, television,
commercials and interactive gaming. His work for “Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman”
on PBS has garnered Jim five Emmy Nominations over the 100 episode series.
Currently, Jim can be seen as the spokesperson for TD Ameritrade’s Green
Room campaign, heard as the Animated Spokescreature for Xiidra and is
featured in the new HBO MAX Animated Series, JELLYSTONE, where he plays
the rolls of Huckleberry Hound and Captain Caveman.

Bob Jaffe (Squirrely Pete) Recent: IBEW Plays for The Working Theater; performer/adapter of …and then yougo on. An Anthology of the Works of SAMUEL BECKETT (WHAT, Off-Broadway and other venues); Hunter John & Jane by Amina Henry at JACK; Memory Retrograde by harunalee at Under the Radar Festival/Public Theatre. Other Theaters: Ensemble Studio Theatre; Queens Theater; Ars Nova; Berkshire Theatre Festival; the cell; HERE;Theater for a New City; La MaMa E.T.C.; The Brick; Amios; FringeNYC; Trinity Rep;Providence Black Rep; Perishable Theatre; others. Film/TV: “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (viral video with Brad Pitt & Jimmy Fallon);” Showtime’s “Brotherhood;” “Law &Order: SVU;” “Time After Time;” STARZ’ ”Sweetbitter;” many films, including Chappaquiddick; Imagine I’m Beautiful; Crazy Famous; Bite Me; Ensemble Artist at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Artist-in-Residence at the cell. Agents: U-Shin Kim and Chiara Licciardello at UGA Talent. Bob has been playing blues harmonica since he was 14.

Charlton James (Smitty) has been featured as an actor at the Lone Tree Arts Center in Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There, at Syracuse Stage in A Lesson Before Dying, at Capital Repertory Theatre in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Richard III, King Lear, Loves Labours Lost, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Fair and Tender Ladies, and Sockdology, and at The Shakespeare Theatre in Henry VI, Antony and Cleopatra, and As You Like It. From 2005-2020 he served as a professor and the head of the Cinematic Arts and Theatre program at the University of North Alabama. At the university he was named Outstanding Professor of the year in 2020 and was honored with the Academic Affairs Teaching Award in 2011. At UNA he directed such plays as A Doll’s House Part 2, Little Shop of Horrors, A Lesson Before Dying, Hairspray, A Christmas Carol, Good People, The Mountaintop, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale, Medea, A MidSummer Night’s Dream, 39 Steps, The Diviners, and a production of Master Harold… and the Boys that was showcased at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2012. He has a BFA in Theatre/Acting from the University of Utah and an MFA in Theatre/Classical Acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival/University of Alabama.

MEL JOHNSON JR. (Crooner) Broadway: Kiss Me Kate, Jekyll and Hyde, Hot Feet, The Lion King, Big Deal, The Rink, Eubie!, On The 20 th Century. Off Broadway: Paradise Lost, Road Show, Road to Damascus,Venus, Spell #7 (The Public Theatre) Two Gentleman of Verona/The Musical (Shakespeare in the Park), Boys From Syracuse
(Encores!) Hamlet (Roundabout) National Tours: Frederick Douglass/In The Shadow Of Slavery, Jelly’s Last Jam, All Over Town. Regional: Rep Theatre of St Louis, CenterStage Baltimore,Hartford Theatre Works, Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage,
Actors Theatre of Louisville, ACT Seattle, Crossroads Theater Film: Total Recall, Hideous, American Blue Note, In The Shadow Of The Cobra.TV: The Blacklist, Jessica Jones, On the Air (series regular), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

Rita Posillico (Brenda)  is a musician/actress from Long Island, New York. She has worked Off-Broadway in The Office! A Musical Parody at The Theater Center and has performed her musical works with her band Rita & The Playboys in NYC at The Bitter End, The Delancey, and Joe’s Pub. She loves to compose musicals and comedy songs when she is not acting and is the music director at Christ Lutheran Church on Sundays. She is thrilled to be cast in That’s Life and would like to thank the cast and crew for the opportunity. @ritapoe_

Todd Montgomery (Sound Operator) has musical theatre in his bones. Born to his conductor/pianist/composer Mom, Sande Campbell, while she was playing in the pit at the Sacramento Music Circus, he grew up behind the scenes of many of Broadway’s beloved musicals.He later worked at A&M Recording Studios, learning engineering and sound production. Is it any wonder that he is an accomplished composer of songs heard in theatre productions, movies, and television programs?

Kara Kaufman (Production Stage Manager): Selected Off-Broadway: Nomad Motel (Atlantic), Sojourners and Her Portmanteau (NYTW), The Revolving Cycles…, Hello, From the Children…, Sojourners (Playwrights Realm), Kingdom Come (Roundabout), Today Is My Birthday (P73), Travels With My Aunt, John & Jen (Keen Company), SeaWife (Naked Angels), Monsoon Season (AFO), I See You, The Mysteries, Restoration Comedy, These Seven Sicknesses, Kaspar Hauser (Flea), Dani Girl (EPBB), The Opponent (A Red Orchid), Neva (Public), Really Really (MCC), Lush Valley (HERE Arts Center), Paternity (Cherry Lane) and Hold Music (Living Theatre). Proud AEA member and Harvard grad.

Justin Myhre (Asst. Stage Manager) Broadway: The Great Society, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. National Tour: Jersey Boys. Off-Broadway: Roundabout Theatre Company, The New Group, NYTW, Page 73, Prospect Theater Company, Tectonic Theater Project. Regional: Weston Playhouse, Barrington Stage, New York Stage and Film. BA: Vassar College.

That’s Life is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Deepest thanks to our 37th Season Supporters

Working Theater is supported in part by generous community members like you, and major gifts from: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program in partnership with the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York; The Howard Gilman FoundationThe Shubert FoundationThe Axe-Houghton Foundation; The Michael Tuch Foundation; The One World FundAlan and Elaine Weiler, in memory of Mark Plesent; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; Public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, with special thanks to Queens Council Member Rory Lancman; An award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

SEASON SPONSORS: PLATINUM SPONSOR: MagnaCare. GOLD SPONSORS: CignaEmblemHealthEmpire BlueCross BlueShield. SILVER SPONSORS: Archer, Byington, Glennon & Levine LLPCWA Local 1180Healthplex, Segal Consulting