Let the warmth of summer embrace you this week at the Wells Fargo Pavilion as 9 to 5, graces and inspires you with it’s hard-working presence. Based on the beloved 1980 hit movie, this is a show that does not disappoint and most definitely hits that glass ceiling (with heels on!). Musically infectious, uplifting, hilarious, and empowering could not be more accurate when describing this story about three women taking back their lives. With direction by Glenn Casale, choreography by Mara Newbery Greer, and musical direction by Jeff Rizzo, the performance is gracefully executed with an ease that only true theatre professionals can master. Confirmed by standing ovation, the adaptation from movie to stage was splendidly carried out, with sets reminiscent of 1980s office environs and clothing equally as apropos to that — hopefully — bygone era.
As three women attempt to penetrate the chauvinistic autocracy enforced by non-other than good-old-boy Franklin Hart (played by the man you will love to hate, Paul Schoeffler) you will be taken on a joyously liberating theatrical journey conveyed by the tragic-turned-comedic snippets of each of their lives. Violet (Vicki Lewis) is a widow, mother of four and devoted employee of 12 years. Doralee (Tricia Paoluccio) is a misunderstood-because-of-her-looks secretary. Judy (Anne Brummel) is the new to the workforce, unskilled office assistant. The show would also not be complete without the brown-nosing office assistant Roz (Kristine Zbornik).
The show unfolds with narrations by none other than a screen projected Dolly Parton herself which brought back great memories of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and dare I say it, Dabney Coleman! Songs like “9 to 5,” “Cowgirl’s Revenge,” and “Around Here” will also have you kicking up your heels to stamp out that “wart on the nose of humanity.” Others like “Backwoods Barbie,” “Get Out and Stay Out,” “Always a Woman,” and “I Just Might” will also resonate where it counts.
With great numbers throughout, I found the fantasy scenes to be the highlights of the show. Bonding over their mutual hatred for Mr. Hart — and a shared love for “herbal cigarettes” — the ladies hilariously show the audience how they would each seek revenge on their sexist, egotistical boss. (Warning: You’ll never see rodeo stars and Snow White in the same way again.)
Without a doubt, this cup of ambition will have you pounding (or maybe even dancing) the pavement, unfettered and unbound! 9 to 5 takes over the theater in the round now through July 30. Find out more on the musical’s Sacramento365 event page.