Huron Country Playhouse Opens 9 TO 5; Runs Through 8/11
Nominated for 15 Drama Desk Awards, the most received by a production in a single year, and four Tony Awards, including Best Score, 9 to 5: The Musical is a comedy about office politics that also strikes a chord for its invigorating story of friendship and female empowerment.
“This is a terrific show that audiences are going to love,” says Mustakas. “With an energetic score by the iconic Dolly Parton, the music is absolutely infectious … not to mention, the hilarious story captures every office worker’s most twisted fantasy.”
Set in a stereotypical office in 1979, audiences are taken back to a time when assistants were called secretaries, computers and databases were known as typewriters and rolodex cards, ‘Casual Fridays’ had no place in the dress code, and sexism was both rampant and tolerated. Against this backdrop of the office grind, three co-workers become unlikely friends when, pushed to the boiling point, they enact their outrageous revenge fantasies to depose of their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical” boss, Franklin Hart Jr. and seize control of the company.
After a twelve year hiatus, theatregoers will see Mustakas back on stage as this "deliciously despicable character. Mustakas is in his element, using his powerhouse voice and well honed comic skills to great effect in “Here for You”. He goes full throttle as the nasty boss, but at the same time manages to project an appealing charm that anchors the production’s light-hearted tone.
"Mustakas is pulling double-duty as Director, and with his expertise in the musical-comedy genre, provides the ideal leadership and direction required for this sharp-witted production. His sense of comedic timing is spot on, motivating an exceptional cast to keep the rhythm of this show moving at a brisk pace.
"Mustakas has wisely built the production around the undeniable chemistry between his three female leads.
"Audience favourite Lisa Horner, applies her distinctive talent to the role of feisty office manager Violet Newstead. You can’t help but root for her. Horner brings dignity and poise to the role, imbuing every scene with energy and emotional availability.
"As the frazzled divorcée and office newcomer Judy Bernly, Jayme Armstrong captures all the exuberance of a woman freed from marital prison and allowed to grow on her own. She displays a powerful voice when she finally admonishes her faithless, weasel husband to “Get Out And Stay Out.”
"The sensational secretary and vivacious country girl Doralee Rhodes is played by Baden native Joanna Guistini. Parton’s old dialogue and quips role off her tongue perfectly. Guistini also has a lilting singing voice beautifully displayed as she reminisces of her girlhood in the wistful “Backwoods Barbie.”
"Other stand-outs include N. Settimi as Roz Keith, Hart’s frumpy administrative assistant who can’t find the words to tell her boss how much she loves him and David Cotton as the nerdy junior accountant Joe, who’s smitten with a much-older Violet.
"In its continued effort to create opportunities for greater involvement in the performing arts, Drayton Entertainment has cast six local up-and-coming performers who have the rare opportunity to work in a professional theatre production, appearing as members of the ensemble. Local performers include Jordan Baldwin, Kate Deman, Meaghan Forrester, Christine McKeon, Dan Newton and Trevor Patt."
The talented professional ensemble includes Jordan Bell, Matthew Campbell, Rachel Clark, Joel Cumber, Sarah Harries, Dani Jazzar, Sarah Matton, Chad McFadden, Lucas Meeuse, Vic Roberts, Adam Sergison, Kathleen Sheehy, Christine Watson and Breanna Willis.
This vast company of performers injects great joy into Gino Berti’s dazzling choreography which creates tremendous energy on stage. Parton’s score is an eclectic mix of country, rockabilly and Broadway ballads. Music Director Robert Foster, who has helmed many Mirvish Productions, leads an accomplished band through the demanding material. Of course, the infectious title tune still elicits plenty of smiles three decades after it topped the charts.
The colourful set design by Stephen Degenstein and effective lighting design by Simon Day highlight the light and frothy elements of this production, but also capture the dab of social commentary. The 100+ costumes designed by Jenine Kroeplin are appropriate to the era and create a visual spectacle on stage.