9 to 5: THE MUSICAL
Book by Patricia Resnick, Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton
Based on the 20th Century Fox picture
Granbury Theatre Company
Director – Brian Lawson
Assistant Director – Katy Beckermann
Music Director – Jamie Deel
Choreographer – Domanick Anton Hubbard
Scenic Designer – Nicholas Graves
Lighting Designer – Cameron Barrus
Sound Designer – Kyle Hoffman
Film and Projection Designer – Wayne Trimble
Costume Designer – Emily Warwick
Propmaster – Gaylene Carpenter
Scenic Artists – Phil Groeschel and Kerri Pavelick
Costume Consultant – Drenda Lewis
Costumer – Missy Brooks
Technical Director – Kalani Morrissette
Stage Manager – Brittany Brown
Assistant Stage Manager – Whitney Shearon
Light Board Operator – Whitney Shearon
Sound Board Operator – Kyle Hoffman
Stage Running Crew – David Broberg, Joshua Carpenter, Kalani Morrissette, Mickey Shearon
Spotlight Operators – Katy Davis, Cessany Ford, Gabe Ramirez
Violet Newstead – Courtney Mitchell
Doralee Rhodes – Neely Heil
Judy Bernley – Emily Warwick
Franklin Hart Jr. – Charles Mason
Roz Keith – Patricia E. Hill
Joe – Jake Kelly Harris *
Dwayne Rhodes – Gary Williams*-
Josh Newstead – David Midkiff *-
Missy Hart – Megan Hildebrand *
Maria – Brittany Jenkins *-
Dick Bernley – Jeff Meador
Kathy – Nicole Carrano *-
Margaret – Gale Gilbert
Bob Enright – Christian Loper
Mr. Tinsworthy – Micky Shearon *
Detective – Cody Thomas *-
Doctor – Zachary Pletcher *-
Candy Striper – Kristin Cox *-
New Employee – Connie Ingram *
Ensemble – Joshua Carpenter, Jamie Deel, Autumn McKee*-, Debra Midkiff
Reviewed Performance: 2/25/2017
Reviewed by Eric Bird, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
9 to 5: The Musical is based on the 1980 comedy film 9 to 5 featuring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. The story follows three women that have very different backgrounds though they are united by one common goal—revenge on their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss. The antics of these three women as they discover themselves and what they are capable of creates a story that has audience members laughing in their seats throughout the entire show.
The musical opened on Broadway in April 2009, receiving 15 Drama Desk Award nominations as well as four Tony Award nominations. Though it received several nominations it closed in September of 2009. The show toured the US in 2010, which was followed by a UK premiere in 2012.
I was excited to hear that Granbury Theatre Company would be producing the show, even more so when I saw that Brian Lawson would be directing. He puts amazing detail into the visual aspect of the show. 9 to 5 did not disappoint in this, as it was a stunning visual treat. The creative and large set combined perfectly with the costuming chosen for the actors. The placement of the characters was always in the best position for them to stand out. These pieces combined synergistically into a spectacular product.
The choreography, designed by Domanick Anton Hubbard, was adequate for this production. It did not deliver a wow factor for me; the opening number was worrisome as it was lacking in energy with dancers watching each other to remember the next step. The dancers managed to find some more energy later in the production, though they were sometimes out of sync with each other. I really liked their tap number during “Around Here”; the ensemble had good energy, rhythm and expression for that number. They also were fun to watch during “Cowgirl’s revenge” with their southern costumes and country style of tap dancing.
The set was extremely well designed by Nicholas Graves. There were a lot of pieces and a lot of set changes throughout the production including the bullpen that started with several plain looking desks, Hart’s office that had an executive style desk and a comfortable looking couch, along with the various homes of the lead characters and a couple of brief scenes in a hospital. There was also a copy room with a Xerox machine. Each of these was further developed by film and projection designer Wayne Trimble, who added to the scenery with several beautiful images and videos of office spaces and locations that were projected on a rear screen. I both loved and hated that screen; it brought certain realism to the stage, such as the garage door that Violet had to fix, but the way it was used at the end of the revenge sequence separated me from the characters by playing a recording of them.
The lighting as designed by Cameron Barrus was effective in illuminating the characters and their costumes, creating a perfect office ambience. I also appreciated the out of place changes that took place during Hart’s “Here for You” and during the women’s fantasy sequence. Overall, the lighting did its job very effectively.
Kyle Hoffman was effective in the choices he made with the sound design, keeping everything at a comfortable volume. The actors and music were easy to hear throughout. I appreciated the level of detail included for smaller things as well, such as realistic gun shots or the sound of a garage door opening.
The costumes were well designed by Emily Warwick and fit in with the time period of the production. I loved the costumes for the character Franklin Hart. He wears a three-piece suit for his first appearance, but each piece has the same geometric design on it. This very effectively portrayed his over-the-top, focused-on-appearances attitude. His silken pajamas from later in the show further emphasized this. Doralee’s outfits all focused on her desire for glam, with attention to details such as a cardigan to make it office attire and giant bracelets to show her interest in sparkle. The ensemble as well had good costumes. Everything was suited for the era and location, and I liked how often the ensemble was given outfits in matching colors for the dance scenes; it made things easier to watch. The scene with the best costumes was the revenge scene where the leading ladies are all day dreaming. This involved a lot of costumes for the lead roles and ensemble, and each one was seen to with attention to detail. And Mr. Hart’s shorts from that scene put me in stitches.
Gaylene Carpenter was very detailed and thorough in the choices she made as prop master. There were many props used throughout this production, each of them adding depth to the characters that used them. I especially liked the props that were in Franklin Hart Jr’s office as they were very true to his character: a football, assorted plaques and trophies, and a bottle of Scotch to drink with “the boys.” Other scenes had these details as well, such as an actual garage door opener for Violet to use and coffee and sweetener in the breakroom. I also loved the typewriters present in the office. They were legitimate typewriters that the employees had to load with paper.
Violet Newstead, the very experienced yet overlooked top assistant at Consolidated Industries, was played by Courtney Mitchell. Mitchell had good dynamics in her performance, though it seemed to take her a while to get into her role. The opening number was lacking in power, though she had many highlights from her performance with strong vocals in “I Just Might” and “Change It”. Mitchell also was good in her interactions with the other characters, showing her leader like qualities through the quick snapping of her fingers and the business minded attitude that she used throughout.
The curvaceous southerner Doralee Rhodes was played Neely Heil. Heil has a very powerful voice, which she used to her full advantage. This was especially noticeable in “Backwoods Barbie” and “Cowgirl’s revenge”. The southern twang was well done through most of the production, though at times it faded slightly. Overall, Heil did an excellent job in her depiction of Doralee, with her endearing accent and bright, perky attitude.
Emily Warwick played the part of Judy Bernley, the woman trying to make her way in the world after her divorce. Warwick is a very talented actress, with remarkable vocal skills and confidence onstage. Her vocal skills stood out especially during “Get Out and Stay Out” and “I Just Might”. Warwick did a good job of portraying her character’s shyness, with stuttering, mumbling, and exclamations as her character got into uncomfortable situations.
Franklin Hart Jr, the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot who presides over Consolidated was played by Charles Mason. Mason used a lot of bawdy comedy in his performance and showed a very one sided character, making his a very easy character to dislike. Combining this with incredible vocal skills made his performance stand out.
Patricia E. Hill was phenomenal in her portrayal of Roz Keith, Mr. Hart’s administrative assistant. I thoroughly enjoyed Hill’s performance, with her very talented voice and comedic timing onstage. Her smug look around fellow employees contrasted well with her simpering around Hart. Hill really captivated my attention during “Heart to Hart” with her sincere and flamboyant passion.
Jake Kelly Harris played the part of the young financial accountant Joe. Harris has an incredible voice, which was very noticeable in “Let Love Grow”. His usage of a shy yet persistent demeanor onstage showed impressive acting ability. I liked how Harris would look away or look down when he got shy, and then square his shoulders and look someone in the face as he mustered his courage. It made his character very real and dynamic.
There were many dancers that stood out in the production, among them were Gary Williams, David Midkiff and Brittany Jenkins. I thoroughly enjoyed their performances, with their engaging expressions and dynamic movements.
I enjoyed having an opportunity to watch the show. Though there were a few minor things that didn’t work for me, it was a joy to see it again onstage. If you’re looking for a night of fun and sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigotry, don’t hesitate to check out 9 to 5: The Musical. They’ll have you laughing throughout.
9 to 5: The Musical
Granbury Opera House
133 East Pearl St.
Granbury, TX 76048
Performances run through March 19th.
Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, with matinee performances Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm.
TICKET PRICES for 9 to 5 The Musical
Prime Seating Tickets (Rows A, B, C, D) Adults: $30.00
Discounted Tickets: $25.00 (Opera Guild, Seniors, Student, Child, Military)
Standard Seating Tickets (Rows CR, E, F, G, H, J & Balcony) Adults: $25.00
Discounted Tickets: $20.00 (Opera Guild, Seniors, Student, Child, Military)
For information and to purchase tickets, go to www.granburytheatrecompany.org or call (817) 579-0952.