Recommended *** Another hit film being transformed to a stage musical! Are there no new ideas?. One of the reasons I love live theater is the energy that the actors/singers/dancers bring to the stage- this is something that you will not miss when you see the current production on the intimate stage at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire as they bring to “their” stage, Dolly Parton’s ” 9 to 5, The Musical”. I saw the road production that Broadway in Chicago presented and based on that was not looking forward to attending last night’s opening, BUT, seeing as Marriott brought in the creativity of David H. Bell ( Director) and Matt Raftery ( Choreographer), I knew that they would make something special out of this weak script, and they did! Let me say first that the script by Patricia Resnick with the additional music and lyrics by Dolly Parton herself are nothing to get excited about and I have given this a Recommended. If I placed a rating on the ensemble and their performances it would be a Highly Recommended*****!
The story is one of simplicity. It is the sexist world of the 1970’s. Men were the major worker force and women, while there, were only handling menial positions and of course, were never upper management. In the story of “9 to 5”, three of the women working for a large company take t upon themselves to hold hostage their employer ( a bigot, sexists,hypocrite,lying egotist) and take over control , bringing productivity to a new high and we get to watch the antics of not only our three “women”, ( in the movie version they are played by Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin) and the cast that Bell uses in his sterling production- Kelli Kramer ( Violet), Alexandra Palkovic ( Doralee) and Susan Moniz( Judy) are an amazing trio- they rock and make these characters believable and lovable. Our egotistical scoundrel is portrayed to perfection by James Moye.
Marriott’s stage, an in-the-round intimate one is hard to dress with a set, but Thomas M. Ryan has done an admirable job an d the actors in the production are able to move desks on and off as part of the production ( well choreographed set changes is what you might call them) and as always the lighting ( Jesse Klug) and sound ( Robert E. Gilmartin) is sheer perfection as are Nancy Missimi’s costumes ( although I did note that one or two of the female employees had on “pants”. In 1979? The props by Sally Weiss were all first rate and the ensemble, those who truly make the shows work are sensational-
Brian Bohr, Brandi Wooten, Ericka Mac, Stef Tovar,Christine Mild, Holly Stauder,Richard Strimer,Roger Anderson, Robin Alexis Childress, Bryan Howard Conner, Devin DeSantis, Jerry Galante, Natalie Myre, Laura Savage, J. Tyler Whitmer and Melissa Zaremba- each and everyone bringing their energy to make this show much stronger than the original . A tip o fthe hat to Ben Jacobt as JoeMarya Grandy ( a great comic) and Holly Stauder does an amazing drunk bit. Some of the ensemble players function in other roles and one of the standouts there is Stef Tovar who tackles a few and as always,does a formidable job.
Patti Garwood conducts an orchestra of 9 in making the music come alive and while most of the songs, other than the title “9 to 5” are not very memorable the way that Bell and Raftery have molded the movement with them and the high energy of this cast makes this production far more worth seeing than the original production brought in earlier in the year. You can catch this production through October 13th with performances as follows:
Wednesdays at 1 and 8 p.m.
Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 4:30 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 1 and 5 p.m.
Running time 2 hours 15 minutes including intermission
Tickets range from $40-$48 and on Wednesday and Thursdays there are some dinner/theater packages at $55
To order your tickets or make reservations for dinner and the show call the box office at 847-634-0200 or visit www.marriottTheatre.com
The theater is locate din Lincolnshire at ten Marriott Drive, just south of Route22 Half Day Rd and East of Route 21, Milwaukee Avenue and of course there is plenty of FREE PARKING.
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-up and click at “9 to 5”