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9 to 5: The Musical

by Rita Kohn
January 12, 2011
Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University
4602 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317-940-6444
3 stars
Music & lyrics by Dolly Parton; book by Patricia Resnick; directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun with Lisa Stevens.
Broadway Across America Indianapolis, Clowes Memorial Hall, Jan. 11-16

This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Zany with a second act message that redeems the first act's not-so-funny wielding of gun in light of current events, this production manages to skewer just about anyone and anything, from calling secretaries of all ages "girls" to dismissing a younger man/older woman romantic relationship. The company is on-the-spot with sharp one-liners, smart repartee and clear character development. Choreography throughout is crisp, clean and amazingly athletic around a lot of furniture, with a snazzy Act Two production number for "One of the Boys." Set in 1979, the plot is definitely dated, and it's not all that pleasant looking back to corporate life when the boss is a cad whose comeuppance is plotted by an unlikely threesome. Dee Hoty as The Pro, Diana DeGarmo as The Bombshell and Mamie Parris as The New Girl make it all seem easy, delivering Dolly Parton's songs with soul and pizzazz. Joseph Mahowald is perfectly hateful as The Boss. Fine supporting and ensemble roles were equally delivered by the entire cast, who made you believe they really were at work in a corporate headquarters in a big city. Dolly Parton appears in projection as the narrator and manages not to steal the show. Applause as well for the orchestra and production stage manager who ran a swift, slick show with split-second set and costume changes.
Cast of the National Touring Production of 9 to 5: The Musical.

Cast of the National Touring Production of 9 to 5: The Musical.

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Marcus


Kristine Zbornik as Roz Keith in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Kristine Zbornik as Roz Keith in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Marcus


Mamie Parris as Judy Bernly and Joseph Mahowald as FranklinHart, Jr. in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Mamie Parris as Judy Bernly and Joseph Mahowald as FranklinHart, Jr. in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Marcus


Dee Hoty as Violet Newstead in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Dee Hoty as Violet Newstead in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Marcus


Dee Hoty as Violet Newstead and the Cast of 9 to 5: The Musical.

Dee Hoty as Violet Newstead and the Cast of 9 to 5: The Musical.

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Marcus


Mamie Parris, Dee Hoty, Dolly Parton and Diana DeGarmo of 9 to 5: The Musical.

Mamie Parris, Dee Hoty, Dolly Parton and Diana DeGarmo of 9 to 5: The Musical.

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Marcus


Diana DeGarmo as Doralee Rhodes, Dee Hoty as Violet Newstead andMamie Parris as Judy Bernly in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Diana DeGarmo as Doralee Rhodes, Dee Hoty as Violet Newstead andMamie Parris as Judy Bernly in 9 to 5: The Musical.

Photo © & courtesy of Joan Marcus

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