The 1980 hit movie “9 to 5” showcased Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in the sort of comedy that allowed the actresses to poke a little fun at themselves. The movie was a hit, and although a little dated, is still a late night favorite. The incomparable Dolly Parton wrote the music and lyrics for “9 to 5: The Musical” premiering on Broadway in 2009. Patricia Resnick, one of the original screenplay authors wrote the book and their collaboration is currently being presented at the Poteet Theatre in Oklahoma City. The musical reflects Parton’s sense of humor and talents beautifully. A little nostalgia is often a lot of fun. Cyndi Steele-Harrod has returned to Oklahoma City once again this summer to collaborate in the direction of “9 to 5: The Musical” alongside Poteet’s Artistic Director Jay Prock. Harrod clearly shares this same ability to poke a little fun at life and herself.
Harrod also stars as the insecure divorcee, Judy Bernly alongside Kerrie Brinkman-White as Violet Newsted and Jamie Buxton as Doralee Rhodes. Some of the roles are double cast, and Taylor Handy will also be doing the role of Doralee Rhodes on some dates. These actresses are having a great deal of fun with a great deal of talent, timing and tricks. They portray three employees in a typically male-dominated firm of the 70’s with a glass ceiling and possibly a mirrored ceiling. Their job titles range from secretary to supervisor, but they are all treated with little respect by their treacherous, lecherous boss, Franklin Hart. Lane Fields as Hart states in the program that he is ‘excited to be a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot’ and he does a great job. Fields certainly gives all the ladies a great deal of motive to rebel and the payback he receives is gratifying as well as funny.
Additional bright spots are found in the performances of David Palmer as Dick, Paul Smith as top of the corporate food chain, Tinsworthy and Paula Parkhurst as Roz Keith. The cast is quite large and the many ensemble members and cameo performances display dedication, excellence and talent. They cannot be named individually but they should each be applauded for superb performances.
As in all musicals the story line is revealed in song rather than dialogue, and some of the witty conversation from the movie is therefore translated into song with the wit revealed in the visual circumstance rather than the lyrics. Under Prock and Harrod the integrity of the comedy is well preserved. Derek Flowers, Choreographer and Tim Wall, Music Director as well as all of the crew do an excellent job with the show.
“9 TO 5: The Musical” plays through August 4, 2013. Curtain is 8:00pm Thursday through Saturday with 3:00pm Sunday Matinee performances. Tickets may be purchased on line at poteettheatre.com or call the box office at 405-609-1023. The Poteet Theatre is located on the lower level of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church at 222 NW 15th Street in Oklahoma City.