Another fantastic performance from the Wagon Wheel family!
9 to 5 the Musical is most assuredly a must see for anyone who is an admirer of the original 1980 blockbuster film starring Dolly Parton, or for anyone looking for fun-loving comedic musical.
The musical follows the film storyline almost verbatim, adding a number of catchy tunes written by none other than Ms. Parton herself.
Fans will fall in love with Violet, Judy and Doralee all over again as they struggle in the male dominated business world against their egotistical and sexist boss, Franklin Hart Jr. (David Schlumpf).
Violet Newstead (Kira Lace Hawkins) is a brainy widow and single mom who is often overlooked and disrespected by Mr. Hart. Judy Bernly (Lauren Roesner) is a frazzled, newly divorced woman who has never worked a day in her life, but is now forced to work because her husband left her for his younger secretary.
Doralee Rhodes (Libby Schneider) is a sweet country girl who is loved by men and disliked by women because of her voluptuous-tight-clothes-fitting-body. This trio of dissimilar women finds friendship in knowing they are all fighting similar battles with their boss, Franklin Hart Jr.
The women, exhausted of Hart’s demeaning authority, fantasize about killing him, but things escalate from bad to worse when Violet thinks she accidentally poisoned him.
Once the women come to realize that Hart intends to blackmail them with information about the accidental poisoning, they kidnap him, take control of the office, and make some changes for the better.
Lauren Roesners performance as Judy Bernly is phenomenal. She makes Judy’s transition from the weak and mild ex-housewife to the strong, independent woman believable and enjoyable for the audience. The rich emotionality Lauren layers into “Get Out and Stay Out,” her shining solo moment at the climax of the show, is simply wonderful.
Kira Lace Hawkins perfectly conveys the poise of a businesswoman and sings her role well. She has wonderful standout performances on “Around Here” and “One of the Boys.”
Libby Schneider does a great job filling the enormous shoes that Dolly Parton filled in the film. She had that same pizzazz Dolly did when it came to delivering the Texan infused comedic moments. Additionally, Libby’s ability to tackle the delicate Country Western singing voice seemed almost natural. Especially, in her delightfully warm rendition of “Backwoods Barbie.”
Schlumpf plays the vile, egotistical, sleazy slimeball Franklin Hart Jr. to perfection. He skillfully consumes the audience with laughter as he objectifies the women in his office. He is so wonderfully repugnant, that I am certain every member of the audience relates to the girls as they fantasize about killing him. His rendition of “Here For You” is hilarious and well sung.
Mr. Hart’s eyes and ears, Roz Keith, is well played and sung by Sarah Jackson. While the audience will often dislike her because she tries to win the boss over by throwing others under the bus, Sarah skillfully rounds out her performance by bringing a sympathetic and softer side to the character when beautifully singing “Heart to Hart” and “5 to 9.”
Matt Hill does a wonderful job as the clumsy, awkward Joe. Matt melts the audience by his crush on Violet and he does a great job on his vocals for “Let Love Grow.”
Come see for yourself why this film was a blockbuster hit and thus why it is now performed on stages all over the world. The music, sets and cast will draw you in right from the start and the story will keep you fully entertained continuously wanting more! 9 to 5 the Musical is playing at the Wagon Wheel theatre in Warsaw through June 29.