On September 18th, I met up with a few of my friends from the ABBA fan community and we went to a performance of the new musical “9 to 5” now having it’s world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. The show is being tested here in Southern California before it heads to Broadway in March 2009.
The musical is based on the movie, “9 to 5” which originally starred, Lilly Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton. The movie and the musical are both written by Patricia Resnick and in the process of bringing “9 to 5” to the stage, Dolly Parton was asked if she’d like to do the music for the show as the movie’s iconic title song has been one of Dolly’s biggest hits of all time. Dolly wasn’t sure she was up to the task but said she’d like to give it a try, and wouldn’t you know it she’s written some brilliant songs for the show. And all of it directed by Joe Mantello, the man behind the direction of the hit musical, “Wicked.”
In the musical, Lilly Tomlin’s role of Violet Newstead is played by Allison Janney of “The West Wing” fame. Allison just inhabits the role and makes it her own. She does a brilliant job especially with the song “One Of The Boys”. Jane Fonda’s role of Judy Burnly is played by Stephanie J. Block who’s recently come from the role of Broadway’s Elphaba in “Wicked”. Stephanie really captures the timidness of the role and lets her independence shine in the showstopper song she gets in the second act called, “Get Out And Stay Out.” And Megan Hilty takes on Dolly Parton’s role of Doralee Rhoades, who recently starred as Glenda in “Wicked”. Megan really seems to be able to channel Dolly and yet still make the role her own. She gives a heatwarming rendition of “Backwoods Barbie” which Dolly herself does on her latest album, get your copy of the song here at iTunes USA or iTunes Europe.