A Cup of Ambition: 9 to 5: The Musical Comes to Life Sept. 9 in Los Angeles

9 to 5: The Musical — boasting a score by the Grammy Award-winning star of the concert stage and screen, Dolly Parton — makes its debut Sept. 9 at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. Two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Take Me Out, Assassins) directs.

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 Justin Stephens)

The eagerly awaited show was first expected to bow at the Ahmanson in L.A. Sept. 3 but was delayed to Sept. 6 due to technical problems. A second delay pushed the preview date to Sept. 9.

Michael Ritchie, CTG artistic director, said in a recent statement, "I hate disappointing these early preview audiences, but thankfully we have the ability to add performances later in the run to help re-locate our audiences. And once they see the show, they will understand why we are taking the extra time to meet this musical's large technical demands. 9 to 5: The Musical is one of the biggest shows ever produced at the Ahmanson, and big shows, with this quality of cast and creative team deserve the utmost support in their development. To do any less would be a disservice to all."

Previews now run Sept. 9-19, with the opening date of Sept. 20 remaining unchanged.

9 to 5: The Musical has music and lyrics by seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Parton, book by Patricia Resnick and choreography by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler.

Parton's original score for 9 to 5: The Musical includes over 20 new songs as well as the Grammy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated No. 1 Billboard title song. "Backwoods Barbie," heard on Parton's new album of the same name, is also part of the show's score, Parton previously said. Multiple Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Allison Janney stars as Violet Newstead, the super efficient office manager who joins her co-workers — the frazzled divorcee Judy Bernly, played by Stephanie J. Block, and the sexy executive secretary Doralee Rhodes, played by Megan Hilty, to turn the tables on their boss, the "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot" Franklin Hart, Jr., played by two-time Tony Award nominee Marc Kudisch.

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

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 eight-time Tony Award winners Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, sound design by John Shivers, with musical supervision by Stephen Oremus ( Wicked, All Shook Up).

Audiences for the canceled previews will be moved to other performances, including two specially added performances: a preview on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 1 PM and a 6:30 PM performance on the closing date of Oct. 19.

Following its Los Angeles run, 9 to 5 will begin Broadway previews March 24, 2009, and open April 23, 2009, at the Marquis Theatre.

To purchase tickets for 9 to 5: The Musical, call (213) 628-2772. For more information visit www.9to5themusical.com.

<i>9 to 5</i> stars: Stephanie J. Block, Allison Janney, Megan Hilty and Marc Kudisch.
9 to 5 stars: Stephanie J. Block, Allison Janney, Megan Hilty and Marc Kudisch. (Photo by Justin Stephens)