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Dolly Parton's "9 to 5", The Musical, at the Marquis Thetare
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Dolly Parton's "9 to 5", The Musical, at the Marquis Thetare

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9 to 5, The Musical
(9 to 5, The Musical Website)
Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Based on the 20th Century Fox Film

At the
Marquis Theatre
1535 Broadway
NY, NY
877.250.2929

Starring: Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block,
Megan Hilty, Kathy Fitzgerald, Andy Karl,
And
Marc Kudisch
With:
An Ensemble of 24 Actors/Singers/Dancers

Directed by Joe Mantello
Choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler
Music Direction and Vocal Arrangements by Stephen Oremus
Produced by Robert Greenblatt

Scenic Design: Scott Pask
Lighting Design: Jules Fisher & Kenneth Posner
Costume Design: William Ivey Long
Casting: Telsey + Company
Sound Design: John H. Shivers
Imaging: Peter Nigrini & Peggy Eisenhauer
Hair Design: Paul Huntley & Edward J. Wilson
Makeup Design: Angelina Avallone
Technical Supervisor: Neil A. Mazzella
Scenic Design Associate: Edward Pierce
Production Supervisor: William Joseph Barnes
Associate Director: Dave Solomon
Associate Choreographer: Rachel Bress
General Management: Nina Lannan Associates
Press Agent: Barlow*Hartman
Marketing: Type A Marketing
Situation Interactive
Music Coordinator: Michael Keller
Orchestrator: Bruce Coughlin
Additional Orchestrations & Incidental Music:
Stephen Oremus & Alex Lacamoire
Dance Music Arrangements: Alex Lacamoire
Additional Music Arrangements:
Kevin Stites & Charles duChateau


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 7, 2009


It’s good to be royally entertained, right on Broadway, with razzmatazz dance numbers, upbeat melodic songs, radiantly colored sets and costumes, and energized, cartoonish characters. Who cares if the songs and lyrics disappear with the first whiff of smoggy air, and who cares if Dolly Parton was never on my top ten list of favorite composers, my guest and I had a swell time tonight, and I didn’t want this show to end. In fact, Megan Hilty is such a musical and personality double for Ms. Parton that she inspired me to look for Patricia Resnick’s original 1980 film, with Ms. Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda, as the female leads, long before this new musical was conceived.

The 1979 plot is familiar, rebellious female employees, one a busty secretary (Megan Hilty as Doralee Rhodes), whose company President (Marc Kudisch as Franklin Hart Jr.) can’t take his hands off her, one the office manager (Allison Janney as Violet Newstead), a single parent with an air of competence, but also repressed longings waiting to be unleashed, and one a recently scorned divorcee (Stephanie J. Block as Judy Bernly), who keeps the kleenex industry in business. Ms. Hilty and Ms. Janney are able to project their dynamic temperaments across the massive Marquis Theatre, but Ms. Block seems stifled in tearful victimhood. She does have one big moment in the spotlight, toward the end of the second Act, “Get Out and Stay Out” that brought down the house. Ms. Parton’s original movie title song, “9 to 5”, is the opening and closing number, bookending 17 new numbers, including Doralee’s rambunctious “Backwoods Barbie”, Violet’s hilariously wry “One of the Boys”, and Franklin Hart’s “Here for You”.

The ladies get even with Hart, and Marc Kudisch could not be more campy and courageous in some literally high-flying scenes. Hart’s assistant, Roz Keith (Kathy Fitzgerald) is also a good sport, with much ado about her own buxom assets, but of the deprecatingly burlesque variety. Andy Karl (Joe) is the guy who sees through Violet’s stiff mask, and their “Let Love Grow” was lightly tender and smoothly sentimental. As a life-long animated Disney fan, I loved Violet’s animated hallucination skit, when she tried some mild drugs; other fantasy skits were even more captivating and uninhibited, ŕ la Parton. Two of these skits take place respectively in the women’s and men’s bathrooms, one with Roz, “5 to 9”, as a woman who makes the most of her nights, and one with Violet, in her “One of the Boys” routine. In this particular season, in this particular economy, what fun this audience was having, laughing, cheering, and fully engaged. Joe Mantello directed, amidst Stephen Oremus’ seamless swinging rhythms, Scott Pask’s shifting humungous sets, and leads and ensembles appearing and disappearing, using detail and deftness that worked to perfection.

I was impressed with John H. Shivers’ sound design, so clear and comprehensible, no super-sound that rattles or echoes. Andy Blankenbeuhler’s choreography was styled for Ms. Parton’s pulsating, rollicking, vivacious numbers, proficiently conducted by Mr. Oremus. 9 to 5, The Musical, is a show to see twice, once for the powerful production, and once for the mood enhancement. Kudos to Dolly Parton.



Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus


Courtesy of Joan Marcus



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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net