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Clarksville, TN – If you haven’t been to the Roxy Regional Theatre to see “9 to 5: the Musical,” the real question is why not! Time is running out. Outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, “9 to 5: The Musical” tells the story of three unlikely friends who, even in a man’s world, prove there’s nothing they can’t do! The musical is based on the 1980′s film, which starred Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin.
The musical stars Bailey Hanks as as the vivacious Doralee Rhodes; Amanda Morgan as Violet Newstead, the department supervisor; Lital Abrahams as housewife turned secretary Judy Bernly; Colin Ryan as everyone’s favorite “Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot” of a boss, Franklin Hart, Jr.; and Jill Twiss, as his administrative assistant and office spy Roz Keith. They are backed up by an incredible supporting cast.
The Roxy Regional Theatre brought in Broadway stars Bailey Hanks and Lital Abrahams to supercharge the performance, and it worked. I watched as the actors and actresses fed off the energy of each other’s performances, lifting the entire cast to a starring role level. Hanks was the winner of MTV’s “The Search for Elle Woods,” and was the star of Broadway’s Legally Blonde. Abrahams played Serena in Legally Blonde alongside Hanks.
This is a fun musical bringing back not only the nostalgia of the 1980s, and includes some really great music written by Dolly Parton. Some of my favorites included the signature song 9 to 5, which became an anthem for office workers around the world; “Around Here” which features Violet as she instructs Judy in office protocol; “Backwoods Barbie,” which Doralee sings about how everyone at the office just misunderstands her; “Heart to Hart”and “5 to 9″ where Roz admits her secret love for her boss; the songs Judy, Doralee, and Violet sing as they daydream about the untimely demise of their boss; the song Violet sings as she dreams about the day she will be “Just One of the Boys”; and the empowering songs “Shine like the Sun” and “Change It”. And these are just some of the many songs that make this show a rip roaring good time.
The sets were perfect from the offices to the bathroom, watching Franklin Hart, Jr. being lifted into the rafters by the garage door opener was good for a chuckle.
This production was made possible in part through the generous support of Legends Bank. Additional funding support is provided by Clarksville Fencing, Couture Crush, Edward’s Steakhouse, F&M Bank, Fort Campbell MWR, Ingredients, Kathryn Olita of Batson Nolan PLC Attorneys at Law, The Loft at Mildred and Mable’s, Mildred and Mable’s, New South Coffee Company, Planters Bank, Regions Bank, Sango Village Florist, Thrive Creative Group, Valerie Hunter-Kelly.
“9 to 5″ runs September 14th through October 13th, playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, with a 2:00pm matinee on Saturday, September 22nd. Tickets are $25.00 (adults) and $15.00 (ages 13 and under) and may be purchased online at www.roxyregionaltheatre.org, by phone at 931.645.7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday).
9 to 5 is based off of the Book by Patricia Resnick, and the The 20th Century Fox Picture. It was originally produced on Broadway by Robert Greenblatt in April 2009 with music & lyrics by Dolly Parton. The Roxy Regional Theatre’s production is directed and staged by Tom Thayer and choreographed by Jessica Davidson.
In 1979, the modern conveniences of corporate America included electric typewriters, Rolodex cards, mimeograph machines and carbon paper. Humongous photocopy machines hummed and rattled in separate rooms down the hall. Office dress codes were strictly enforced – and sexism was as common as a mid-morning cigarette break.
In the film comedy 9 to 5, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as three secretaries who forge an unlikely bond to combat working conditions in their office. Twenty-five years later, this musical adaptation features Dolly Parton’s original hit theme song, a more recent hit and 17 brand new tunes.
Judy Bernley, a recent divorcée, joins the secretarial pool at Consolidated Industries after her husband leaves her for a younger model, his own secretary. Violet Newstead, the department supervisor and a company veteran of 15 years, is charged with training the newbie, as she has done for scores of other employees who have been promoted above her, including her boss, Franklin Hart, Jr. The office orientation includes a word of advice: don’t befriend Doralee Rhodes, a buxom, vivacious country girl suspected of sleeping with the boss.
Unbeknownst to them, Doralee is actually happily devoted to her husband; Hart has been spreading rumors of a torrid affair just to brag to his associates.
When Violet is again passed over for an important promotion, she reaches her breaking point. In her anger, Violet tells Doralee that her “affair” with Hart is common knowledge. Doralee confronts Hart about his lies, threatening to gun him down. Judy, meanwhile, has witnessed inequities in the office system and reaches her own breaking point. In a huff, the three women leave the office and converge at Violet’s house, where they indulge in a marijuana cigarette that Violet has received from her teenage son. With their inhibitions released, the ladies voice revenge fantasies targeting their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” of a boss. In a farcical turn of events, each woman’s fantasy comes true.
After a series of comic misunderstandings, the three women imprison Hart in his own home and effectively seize complete control of their department, aided by the ability to forge the boss’ signature. With the women’s gentler and more sensitive influence, the hostile, oppressive workplace turns into an equitable, efficient and friendly environment.
Soon Violet becomes convinced that Hart has been embezzling money from Consolidated Industries, and the women plan on using the information to blackmail him. But when Hart escapes, there’s no telling whether Violet will be able to prove his culpability, or whether their charade will prove to be their own downfall.
(IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
* Appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
This production is presented with a 15-minute intermission.
Bill Larson is the Creator and Publisher of Clarksville Online, and works as a network administrator for Compu-Net Enterprises. He is politically and socially active in the community. Bill serves on the board of the Clarksville Community Concert Association, and is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave.
You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.
Topics9 to 5: The Musical, Amanda Morgan, Bailey Hanks, Batson Nolan PLC Attorneys at Law, Clarksville Fencing, Clarksville TN, Colin Ryan, Couture Crush, Dolly Parton, Edward's Steakhouse, Emily Eden, F&M Bank, Ingredients, Jama Bowen, Jane Fonda, Jill Twiss, John McDonald, Judy Bernly, Kaitlin Doughty, Kathryn Olita, Legally blonde, Legends Bank, Lily Tomlin, Lital Abrahams, Matt Casey, Matt Varelia, Michelle Foletta, Morale Welfare & Recreation, MWR, Planters Bank, Regions Bank, Rob Rodems, Roxy Regional Theatre, Ryan Bowie, Sango Village Florist, Ted Jones, Thrive Creative Group, Tom Thayer, Valerie Hunter-Kelly
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