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9 to 5
a Musical Comedy
by Songs by Dolly Parton, Book by Patricia Resnick

COMPANY : Atlanta Broadway Series
VENUE : The Fabulous Fox [WEBSITE]
ID# 3841

SHOWING : September 28, 2010 - October 03, 2010



"Wake up in the morning, stumble to the kitchen..." Originally made famous by Dolly Parton in 1980 when she created her hit song featured in the movie "9 to 5," these words help give a little pep to the steps of the working crowd everywhere. Regardless of whether or not someone may be a country music fan, or even a Dolly fan for that matter, these nine words in combination with an up-tempo, toe-tapping beat can inspire anyone to pour themselves a "cup of ambition" and make their day a bit brighter. The exact same is true with "9 to 5: The Musical," presented by Theatre of the Stars and showing at the Fabulous Fox through Sunday, Oct. 3.

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Full of Sound and Furry, Signifying Nothing
by playgoer
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Patricia Resnick's and Dolly Parton's musical "9 to 5" seems to have a nice show hidden somewhere inside it. What appeared on the stage at the Fox Theatre was overblown, overloud, and too slick by half. It's as if the producers had no confidence in Dolly Parton's songs, and so overloaded them with choral arrangements and non-stop choreography. And, just to play both sides of the fence, they had Dolly appear via film clips at the start and end of the show, to make it clear that this was HER show. When she sang the title song with the cast as background singers, it was the "aha" moment of the show -- THIS was how the song should have sounded all along.

True, Dolly Parton's lyrics are full of imperfect rhymes, but they generally work well within the show. That is, of course, when they can be heard and understood. The amplification tended to fuzziness in the louder sections, and that was in most sections.

Performances are good, as are voices. Dee Hoty makes a suitably strong Violet. Mamie Parris brings a lot of stage presence to the generally timid Judy. Diana DeGarmo channels a country sexpot as Doralee. Kristine Zbornik, wonderfully stiff as the devoted Roz, plays well against the chauvinistically brash Joseph Mahowald as evil boss Franklin Hart, Jr. In smaller roles, Jane Blass scores as the tipsy Margaret and Gregg Goodbrod makes a fine impression as accountant/love interest Joe. The ensemble are all good.

The show curtain is covered with reproductions of visual images popular in 1979, when the show is set. Costumes and hair styles carry out the period feel. The set, aside from a lot of office desks, consists primarily of three four-sided structures that roll and revolve to set different scenes. The scene painting is an almost sepia-tinged view of reality, which may give an indication of settings from the past, but not particularly from 1979. They could have used more pep.

The story follows the movie pretty faithfully. Some elements, of course, are different. The animated, pot-induced sequence is here done with ensemble members arising with furry puppets to scamper across the stage. It's cute, but a pretty pale imitation of the movie. The best musical adaptations of films make you forget the original and enter the particular world of the adaptation. (Think "Mary Poppins.") The worst ones try to replicate the movie onstage with a limited budget and lesser talents. (Think "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.") With "9 to 5," the presence of Dolly Parton on video makes it impossible not to think of the movie, and the movie was better than the musical is.

During intermission, the people near me in the theatre were checking sports scores: 14 to 10, 6 to 2. That's pretty much the impact this musical has -- "9 to 5" is just a temporary stop on the way to something more meaningful and permanent. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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