Marriott’s “9 to 5 The Musical” The Power of Women Creating an Exciting Revolution to Corporate America
By Russell Goletenbodt:
When seeing the 1980 movie “9 to 5” with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton, I thought it was entertaining and funny and wondered “Wow is it possible for women to have this much power in the corporate work place?” At the time, I thought the movie was entertaining and extremely funny in how the three secretaries got revenge on their male chauvinist boss Dabney Coleman. After seeing “9 to 5, The Musical” at The Marriott Lincolnshire Theater last evening, I am delighted to say that I was even more entertained and amused then when I saw the movie 30 years ago. At the same time, I started thinking how far we have come in the past 30 years with creating equality for women in the workplace. (By the way, in 2013, Secretary would never be used. They are now called Administrative Assistants). However, I do admit that there are still some businesses that operate behind the times when it comes to employee equality, and sexism is still apparent. Especially,in some branches of our government. Although, we really have come a long way Baby! The other thought I had during Marriott’s “9 to 5The Musical” was how far technology has taken us in the workplace since the 1980 movie. When was the last time that you have seen a typewriter in an office? Ok maybe some State agencies, but I admit you rarely see a typewriter in an office at any major corporation. The evolution of Corporate America is evident today and especially at the Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theater production of “9 to 5 The Musical”.
The successful productions of Marriott Lincolnshire Theater’s 2013 season continues to impress. After seeing “ I Love you , You’re Perfect, Now Change, a wonderful production of “South Pacific”, “Dreamgirls”, “ and Now and Forever, “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber”. The Marriott Lincolnshire is now continuing their fabulous year with “9-5, The Musical”. This Tony Award nominated musical written by multi Grammy Award winner Dolly Parton, with the original book written by Patricia Resnick is still enjoyable. Even though, the story is 33 years old, it is still very relatable and fun.
Marriott Lincolnshire Executive Producer; Terry James, and 11 time Jeff award winner Director David Bell, made this production work. The staging and choreography made this show flow seamlessly. Even though, the first act was a bit long at an hour and fifteen minutes, “9-5” The Musical held the interest of the audience. Choreography by Matt Rafferty, made this production move with synchronizing rhythm. From the movement of the sets and desks to the masterful dancing created an exciting, beautiful show to watch. Costumes created by Nancy Missimi brought back the retro 80’s look. The orchestra was masterfully directed by Patti Garwood. Lighting design by Jesse Klug, Props Design by Sally Weiss, and sound design by Bob Gilmartin created the realistic effects of the office. The set design by Tom Ryan was simple. However, it created the office environment and finally made the production easier to see from all angles of the theater. If you have read my other reviews about Marriott, the set design is not always audience friendly for the theater in the round. This leads me to believe that simpler may be better for the Marriott Lincolnshire Theater. Tom hit the mark with this production. With this large cast, I believe that every actor and dancer could be easily seen at all angles. Great Job Tom!
The excellent direction, musical talent, choreography, stage design are all masterfully combined to create another masterpiece of enjoyable musical theater.
“9 to 5, The Musical, portrays three unlikely friends who are female co-workers who take control of the office and put their “sexist lying, hypocritical, bigot” of a boss in his place. The extremely talented cast of Kelli Cramer who plays widowed single mother Violet Newstead, Susan Moniz who plays the jilted divorced mousy housewife, Judy Bernly, and Alexandra Palkovik, who plays the hated blond bombshell, Doralee Rhodes pool their efforts to get revenge on their sexist pig of a boss, Franklin Hart Jr. played by James Moye. James created the very unlikable boorish boss, Franklin Hart. This cast made “9-5, The Musical” believable and fun. The scene where the three unlikely friends unite over marijuana joint and fantasize how they are going to take revenge on their boss is extremely humorous,enjoyable and entertaining. From these fantasies, the three women accidently take their revenge in real life. The character development of Violet, Judy, and Doralee is excellent. The three women begin as co-workers, one of which is an outcast because she is accused of sleeping with the boss. Soon they develop into three friends who create a bond to achieve the mission to avenge their boss’ bad behavior and improve their office working environment. The entire cast exhibited wonderful vocal and dancing ability. However the most powerful moments of the show were when Judy (Susan Moniz) sang “Get Out and Stay Out” to her slimy cheating husband Dick who wants to return to her after his mistress dumps him. Susan made this song her own and it was truly captivating to see. Another fabulous transition was with Marya Grandy (who plays the nosy Office Manager, Roz Keith) Marya sings “Heart to Hart” about her hidden love for her boss Franklin Hart, Roz transforms from a bookish office worker to a Las Vegas Show girl. Marya’s performance was wonderfully entertaining and superb.
Ben Jacoby who plays Accountant Joe, is great in portraying the love interest of widowed Violet. Ben is also easy on the eyes, as are all of the beautiful women and men in the cast.
The cast also includes Roger Anderson as Tinsworthy, and Stef Tovar as Judy’s husband Dick. The rest of the ensemble include Brian Bohr, Robin Alexis Childress, Bryan Howard Conner, Devin DeSantis, Jerry Galante, Ericka Mac, , Laura Savage, Christine Mild, Natalie Myre, ,Holly Stauder, Richard Strimer, J. Tyler Whitmer, Brandi Whooten, and Melissa Zaremba. This very talented cast gave their all with their singing and dancing adding great support to the lead characters of the performance.
“9 to 59 to 5The Musical” is enjoyable in every way. Particularly, if you hate your job and the people you work with. It really demonstrates how some of us feel when we are having a real bad day at work, and what we creatively imagine in our minds. This production will have you leaving the Marriott Lincolnshire Theater with a smile on your face. The only tune you will be humming is the theme song “9-59-5”. It is the only one that you will remember. However, all of the music is enjoyable. If you love Dolly Parton’s musical style, you will love this music. In fact, at the very beginning of the performance a recording of Dolly welcomes the audience to the show.
“9 to 5 The Musical” is highly recommended! You will love it!
“9 to 5 The Musical” is running at The Marriott Lincolnshire Theater through October 13. Performances are Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00p.m. and 5:00p.m.To reserve tickets call the Box Office at 847-634-0200, or visit www.marriotttheatre.com for more information. For calendar information visit www.theatreinchicago.com