Garland Summer Musicals
Director – Buff Shurr
Music Director/Conductor – Scott A. Eckert
Choreographer – Kelly McCain
Set Design – Kelly Cox
Lighting Design – Susan A. White
Costume Design – Michael Robinson and Suzi Cranford
Sound Design – Wes Weisheit
Property Design – Lynn Mauldin
Stage Manager – Morgan Leigh Beach
Patty Granville – Violet Newstead
Kim Borge – Doralee Rhodes
Morgan Mabry Mason – Judy Bernly
Gregory Hullett – Franklin Hart, Jr.
Andi Allen – Roz Keith
Pete Puckett – Joe
Perry Sook – Dwayne
Kyle Coughlin – Josh
Philip Bentham – Dick
Christia Caudle – Margaret
Caren Sharpe-Herbst – Kathy
Shannon Walsh – Maria
Jill Lightfoot – Missy
Cody Dry – Bob Enright
Steven E. Beene – Detective
Jill Nicholas – Candy Striper
Hamp Holcomb – Tinsworthy
Office Personnel – Steven E. Beene, Ethan Dunn, Kyle Fleig, Joey Harbert, Elisabeth Mays, Taylor McKie, Grace Montie, Michael B. Moore, Jill Nicholas, Katie Nicholas, Mark Quach, Caren Sharpe-Herbst, Ashton Sawver, Shannon J. Walsh, Hilary Werthmann
Reviewed Performance 7/20/2013
Reviewed by Eric Bird, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
9 to 5 The Musical opened on Broadway in April 2009, though it did not last long, closing in September of that same year. It received 15 Drama Desk Award nominations as well as 4 Tony Award nominations. The show toured the US in 2010, followed by a UK tour in 2012.
9 to 5 relates the story of three women who work in an office Monday through Friday in the year 1979. First we meet Violet, who has been a hard working secretary for her entire career at the office, yet the promotions keep going to men in the industry. Next is Doralee Rhodes, the busty personal secretary to the CEO, who spends most of her time deflecting her boss’s advances and getting shunned by the other workers. Lastly we have Judy Bernly, a woman seeking to find her own footing after her husband runs off with his teenage secretary.
Kelly McCain did a fantastic job as the choreographer for the show. I appreciated how all the dancers made the song their own as they performed, adding their own character to the overall image. All parts of the choreography flowed together, drawing me in and infusing me with the energy of the dancers. The choreography changed to suit the different numbers, each routine unique and showcasing the different types of songs included in the show. I was never bored by repetitive dance moves or the simpler routines.
The set, designed by Kelly Cox, used the space on the proscenium to her full advantage. At the opening of the show you see the homes of the people as they go about their lives getting ready for work that morning. The well-coordinated set showed different locations throughout the show. They used just a few set pieces but managed to rearrange them to create the wide array. The office was realistic, all the desks set to show that bland sameness throughout, which is later changed through the efforts of Violet, Judy and Doralee.
Susan A. White made the show appealing and enjoyable through her lighting design, giving a very clear impression of office lighting and adding color filters to create a new ambience for each of the different scenes and locations. Michael Robinson and Suzi Cranford designed the costumes with support from the Dallas Costume Shoppe. The costumes easily fit the time period of the late 70’s. It was fun to watch the change of clothing for Judy as she moves from a very conservative woman to someone who is more free and confident in her abilities. I was impressed by the costuming for the ensemble. At various times in the show they would show up in matching outfits for a dance number, creating a fun contrast between that number and the following scene.
Sound design by Wes Weisheit was good throughout. At times, though, the levels were off, making it impossible to hear the leads over the ensemble. When the sound worked correctly, it helped make the show enjoyable and engaging. Property design by Lynn Mauldin was good in helping make the sets more realistic. In particular the gun that made me jump and added an interesting dynamic to the show, believe me!
Patty Granville performed the role of Violet Newstead, the secretary long overdue for a promotion. Her talent was apparent, especially in her performance of “One of the Boys” in which she was able to shine onstage. She created an impressive character that was consistent throughout the show. There were a few moments during the musical that she was drowned out by the orchestra and the ensemble, making it difficult to understand some of her lyrics.
Kim Borge was outstanding in her portrayal of Doralee Rhodes, the secretary whose boss, Franklin Hart, Jr., lusts after. She stood out in her rendition of “Backwoods Barbie” and in “Cowgirl’s Revenge” where she made the stage her own, adding personality and depth to her character.
Morgan Mabry Mason was dazzling in her interpretation of Judy Bernly, especially standing out in “Get Out and Stay Out” and “The Dance of Death”, showing her emotional control of her character. The added opportunity of seeing her move from a conservative, quiet new girl at the office to the confident woman that wants and is willing to be successful was the plus.
Gregory Hullett portrayed Franklin Hart, Jr, the sleazy executive boss who does not have any respect for the women that work under him. Hart is a hate-filled man and Hullett portrayed him perfectly. Hullett was strong in his performance with amazing vocals and extreme confidence onstage, especially during his performance of “Here For You”. He was enjoyable to watch, especially as the girls began to get their revenge on him.
Andi Allen plays Roz Keith, the secretary who has given her “Heart to Hart” Her portrayal was strong, with amazing vocals that filled the theatre whenever she sang. Her characterization was very consistent, with her crush on Hart and the way that she treated the different employees at the office.
I highly recommend this show as a great summer theatre treat. The amazing vocals and strong, witty performances will impress, as will the musical’s overall message of equality in the workplace and respect for others.
9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL
Granville Arts Center
300 N. 5th Street, Garland, TX 75040
Last week of performances through July 28th
Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:30pm.
Ticket prices are $28.00, seniors 60+ $25.00, and youth 12 and under $22.00. Groups of 15 or more- $22.00 each.
Go to www.GarlandSummerMusicals.org for info and purchase tix by calling their box office at 972-205-2790 or going there in person 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday-Friday or two hours before each performance