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9 to 5: The Musical

a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Songs by Dolly Parton, Book by Patricia Resnick

COMPANY : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onstage Atlanta on Ponce [WEBSITE]
ID# 5041

SHOWING : March 03, 2017 - April 02, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Pushed to the brink by their chauvinistic boss, three over-worked, under-appreciated female co-workers conspire to lead a corporate make-over and learn there is nothing they cannot do. With a score by seven-time Grammy winner Dolly Parton, cheer as Violet, Judy, Doralee and the rest of this charming cast "pour a cup of ambition" and fulfill their wildest dreams.


CAST & CREW LIST
Choreographer Ty Autry
Director Elisabeth Cooper
Doralee Rhodes Misty Barber
Josh Newstead Blake Buhler
Joe Loren Collins
Candy Striper/Ensemble Amy L. Levin
Judy Bernly Courtney Loner
Violet Newstead Jennifer Morse
Franklin Hart, Jr. Zip Rampy
Dick / Dancer Marshall Lee Smith Junior
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Office Drudgery
by playgoer
Thursday, March 9, 2017
3.5
The plot of the musical "9 to 5" makes its point of female empowerment through less than admirable means. A group of pot-smoking secretaries gain revenge on their sexist boss by kidnapping and holding him hostage and are ultimately rewarded with love and promotions and respect. The movie was a hit in its time; the musical not so much. Its score by Dolly Parton and Patricia Resnick’s book’s general adherence to the movie have given it a continuing life in community theatre.

Onstage Atlanta is presenting a creditable version of this musical. It has engaging performers in its major roles (Jennifer Morse as Violet, Courtney Loner as Judy, Misty Barber Tice as Doralee, and Zip Rampy as Hart), and generally fine performances by the ensemble. Harley Gould’s set makes good use of the stage, using right angles in the walls to allow for the maximum possible playing space and to accommodate a fold-out section representing Hart’s bedroom. Otherwise, the set furnishings and Bobbie Elzey’s excellent props represent office furniture, with non-office scenes mostly just suggested. Good use, however, is made of auditorium doors to suggest entries to an emergency room and to the office stairwell.

Ty Autry’s energetic choreography keeps things active, and Nancye Quarles Hilley’s costumes set the scene in the 1980’s. Paul Tate’s musical direction gets the band and ensemble to work well together, but projection is occasionally a problem with solo singers. Part of this seems due to the vocal ranges of Violet and Judy being lower than the sweet soprano voices of Ms. Morse and Ms. Loner. This is a belt-voice score, so there’s not a lot of vocal loveliness to be had other than in a sweet duet between Ms. Morse and Loren Collins as accountant Joe. Misty Barber Tice, though, sells her numbers beautifully and comes across as the standout of the show.

Elisabeth Cooper has directed things to maintain a nice flow and to get all her performers to create strong characters. Ms. Morse has delightful stage presence as Violet, and Mr. Rampy mixes his chauvinist shenanigans with enough comedy to keep him on the borderline of being endearing. Lisa Gordon gets all the comedy out of her minor role as Margaret the lush, and Laura Gronek mixes superb dance skills and confident characterization in the small role of Kathy. Amy L. Levin impresses with both her dance skills and with her cameo role as a candy striper. John Jenkins’ energy in the opening number sparks the show to a strong start.

I can’t say anything about Tom Gillespie’s lighting design, other than he apparently didn’t make it spill-proof. The performance I attended was lit by unvarying fluorescent lights, since the light board malfunctioned and died just before the show was about to start. This really didn’t affect the reception of the show, and Dolly Parton’s filmed narration at the start and end of the show showed up just fine on an upstage screen.

"9 to 5: the Musical" capitalizes on the popularity of a movie whose appeal has faded somewhat with time. Someone I know who recently watched the movie again said it wasn’t nearly as good as they remembered it being. And something similar could be said for the musical. It relies on nostalgia for a hit movie rather than staking new territory, and suffers as a result. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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