What a Way to Make a Livin': 9 to 5: The Musical Begins Broadway Run April 7

By Kenneth Jones
07 Apr 2009

9 to 5 workers Allison Janney, Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block
9 to 5 workers Allison Janney, Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block
Photo by Craig Schwartz

In 1980 three secretaries were "just a step on the bossman's ladder" in the hit film "9 to 5." On April 7 Violet, Doralee and Judy still hate their workplace, but they get to sing about it in the Broadway launch of 9 to 5: The Musical, with songs by Dolly Parton.

Previews at the Marriott Marquis will lead to an April 30 Broadway opening of the new musical comedy that has an original score by composer-lyricist Parton (whose title number for the picture was Academy Award-nominated) and a libretto by original story- and screenwriter Patricia Resnick. Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Assassins) directs, and Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights) choreographs.

The show marks the songwriting Broadway debut of seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Dolly Parton. Parton's score for 9 to 5: The Musical includes 16 new songs as well as the Grammy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated, and No. 1 Billboard title song.

Musical direction and vocal arrangements are by Stephen Oremus (Wicked, All Shook Up).



9 to 5: The Musical stars four-time Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Allison Janney ("The West Wing," Present Laughter) as Violet, Stephanie J. Block (The Pirate Queen, Wicked) as Judy and Megan Hilty (Wicked) as Doralee, plus two-time Tony Award nominee Marc Kudisch (Bells Are Ringing, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Franklin Hart Jr., the chauvinist boss women loved to hate 30 years ago in the movie comedy. Now, those same moviegoers will likely bring their daughters and moms to the musical version. (The musical is also set in 1979 "or thereabouts," according to the Playbill.)

Here's the 9 to 5 plot in a nutshell: "When pushed to their boiling point by their boss, Franklin Hart, Jr. (Marc Kudisch), Violet Newstead (Allison Janney), the super efficient office manager, Judy Bernly (Stephanie J. Block), a frazzled divorcee, and the sexy executive secretary Doralee Rhodes (Megan Hilty) turn the tables on him. The trio hatches a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot, and that plan quickly spins wildly and hilariously out of control."

The production features scenic design by two-time Tony Award winner Scott Pask, costume design by five-time Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winners Jules Fisher and Kenneth Posner, sound design by John Shivers and imaging by Peter Nigrini and Peggy Eisenhauer. Oremus also shares credit (with Alex Lacamoire) for additional orchestrations and incidental music arrangements. Orchestrations are by Bruce Coughlin. Lacamoire wrote the dance music arrangements. Hair design is by Paul Huntley & Edward J. Wilson. Production supervisor is William Joseph Barnes.

The troupers had a fall 2008 tryout world-premiere run at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

The 30-member cast also features Kathy Fitzgerald, Andy Karl, Ioana Alfonso, Timothy George Anderson, Jennifer Balagna, Justin Bohon, Paul Castree, Daniel Cooney, Jeremy Davis, Gaelen Gilliland, Autumn Guzzardi, Ann Harada, Neil Haskell, Lisa Howard, Van Hughes, Michael X. Martin, Michael Mindlin, Karen Murphy, Mark Myars (dance captain), Justin Patterson, Jessica Lea Patty, Charlie Pollock, Tory Ross, Wayne Schroder, Maia Nkenge Wilson and Brandi Wooten.

9 To 5: The Musical is produced by Green State Productions, Richard Levi, John McColgan/Moya Doherty/Edgar Dobie, James L. Nederlander/Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, JAM Theatricals, Bud Martin, Michael Watt, The Weinstein Co/Sonia Friedman/Dede Harris, Center Theatre Group, Norton Herrick/Matthew C Blank/Joan Stein, Toni Dowgiallo, and GFOUR Productions.

The Marriott Marquis is located at 1535 Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets. The preview playing schedule for 9 to 5: The Musical is as follows: Monday through Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM. The post-opening playing schedule is as follows: Tuesday at 7 PM; Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM; Sunday at 3 PM; with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com (212) 307-4100 or at the Marriott Marquis Theater Box Office and range from $126.50 to $66.50.

For more information visit www.9to5themusical.com.

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The new Broadway production of Waiting for Godot is also scheduled to open April 30, a rare Broadway happening. Usually producers try to avoid a conflict in dates to help draw as much press coverage as possible.