Musical version of ‘9 to 5’ not just for feminists
If you’ve seen the movie “Nine to Five,” you know the story.
“There is one little added twist in the musical that wasn’t in the movie,” says Jason Bayle, director of Theatre Baton Rouge’s production. “Violet has a boyfriend, and he’s younger than her. It’s not a May-December romance, but it’s significant enough to be noticed.”
In Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5: The Musical,” which opens Friday, Violet is one of the three main characters in this story of bad bosses and overcoming roadblocks to realize a dream.
- For Violet, that dream is climbing the corporate ladder, which is impossible as long as Franklin Hart heads her division.
- Hart is the bad boss. He’s a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
Well, at least that’s the conclusion Violet and her fellow workers Judy and Doralee arrive at while fantasizing about taking their revenge on Hart.
In the 1980 film, this scene plays out during a pot party with the movie’s stars Lily Tomlin as Violet, Jane Fonda as Judy and Dolly Parton as Doralee.
It’s Parton who brought the story to the stage.
The show debuted in Broadway’s Marquis Theatre in 2009 and eventually won four Tony Awards.
Parton wrote all of the songs, and, of course, the show opens with her title song from the film. Patricia Resnick wrote the book.
“And though it deals with a lot of issues, it’s ultimately about people realizing their dreams,” Bayle says.
“The feminist theme is definitely there, but everyone will be able to relate to this story. Everyone has faced their own roadblocks in jobs and life.”
Baton Rouge audiences will associate Bayle’s name as a regular in Swine Palace’s productions in recent years.
Bayle graduated from the LSU Department of Theatre’s master of fine arts program in May, and this is his first time working with Theatre Baton Rouge.
It marks the third time for his wife, Mary Bayle, who is choreographing the show.
“The fantasy scenes are the most difficult,” she says, adding that it’s not because of the dancing.
“It’s all the crazy costume changes that go with this scene,” Mary Bayle says. “It was really crazy on Broadway, and we’re making it work for our stage.”
- CAST: Jennifer Johnson, Violet; Kristy Coast, Doralee; Jamie Leonard, Judy; Albert Nolan, Hart; Erin Woolworth, Roz; Richard Williams, Joe; Ronald Coats, Dick; Jeremy Downey, Dwayne; Michael Hicks, Josh; Aron Coates, Kathy; Marlana Wright, Maria; Lindsey Short, Margaret; Charlynn White, Miss/Doc/Ensemble; Paula Shreve, Detective/Ensemble; Lance Bordelon, Bob Enright/Ensemble; Lauren Regner, Candy/Striper/Ensemble; Phil Chenevert, Tinsworth/Ensemble; Antonio Collins, Cop/Ensemble; Carter Dean, Ensemble; Nancy Little, Ensemble; Megan Dewberry, Ensemble.
- ARTISTIC STAFF: Jason Bayle, director; Mary Bayle, choreographer.