9 to 5: The Musical
Annie Russel Theater, Winter Park FL
Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton
book by Patricia Resnick
directed by Missy Barnes
cusical Direction by Jason M Bailey
choreography by Robbin Gerchman
Starring Bailey DeVoe, Lena Barker, Maddie Crump and Nicholas D’Alessandro
Yes, your job sucks and your boss is a jerk and the pay sucks and the harassment is Federal Lawsuit grade, but you can’t just kidnap your boss and high jack his career. But damn, its good to be a gangstress! Violet (Newstead) manages and office for world class jerk Frank Hart (D’Alessandro). New hire Judy (Crump) got a divorce and needs a job; while she’s unqualified for office work Violet pities her. And no one like the big blonde Doralee (Barker) because shes sleeping with Frank. Or so says Frank, but he’s not the most reliable narrator on this stage. The girls fantasize about kidnapping Frank, and then they do it and hitch him up to the garage door opener. Office productivity shoots up, Frank get a promotion to Bolivia, and it’s a happy ending with a county soundtrack to boot.
It’s a wonderful revenge fantasy, never mind Frank is just a jerk and the girls pull off several federal crimes. The sound track is packed with Dolly Parton’s countrypolitan his, beside the title song Doralee’s “Backwoods Barbie” complains she may be small town and beautiful but that doesn’t make her dumb. Harts loyal assistant Roz sings “Heart to Hart” which may be the most submissive song ever sung on Broadway, and I loved Judy’s “Dance of Death.” While Mr. Hart never sings anything, he has a wonderfully fluid body motion and he bends but never breaks as he dodges the girls and the rest of the cast. He leads the ironing board bondage scene near the end, and while both crimes and high misdemeanors are committed, the show comes to a happy ending of sorts for all. With “Me, too” on the rise across America, this is a good look at where it derives from, and it’s a busy colorful entertainment as well.