Dolly Parton Writes Score for Bway-Bound Nine to Five Musical

By: Aug. 24, 2005
Country music singer/songwriter Dolly Parton, who starred in the 1980 office comedy Nine to Five, will pen the score to a Broadway-bound musical based on the film.

The show, which will boast a book by the film's Patricia Resnick (she came up with the story and co-wrote the screenplay with director Colin Higgins), would sign in to Broadway in fall 2006 or early 2007, and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Assassins, Take Me Out) is being eyed as a prospective director. Robert Greenblatt, the president of entertainment at Showtime Networks, Inc., will produce the musical, for which the draft of a book and songs are already written.

While no casting decisions have been made, Nine to Five would most likely feature a cast of around 25; Resnick has stated that a workshop will precede the Broadway run. Parton, who played Doralee Rhodes in the film (and whose title song was nominated for an Oscar), does not intend to star in the show. She was joined by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the popular movie--they played three secretaries who turn the tables on their sexist pig of a boss.

"It's something that's been kicking around for years and years. Over the years various people have approached me about trying to do a musical version. Almost two years ago Bob Greenblatt approached me about it. It finally seemed to be 'right person, right time' — we were able to get Dolly involved and Bob and I started moving forward with it," stated Resnick, who with Higgins, received a 1981 nomination for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen. Resnick and Parton, rather than updating the musical with cell phones and laptops, are keeping it set in 1980. The musical will also feature more romance than did the movie, and secondary characters have been expanded.

Resnick's other screen credits include the TV films "Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay," "Sex, Lies and Obsession," and "The Expendables" and her feature film screenplays include Straight Talk, Maxie and A Wedding. She adapted her 1979 teleplay "Ladies in Waiting" into a musical (with the help of Alan Poul and Jonathan Sheffer); it received summer stock and regional productions in Illionois. Parton is a multi-Grammy Award winner whose songs include "Here You Come Again and "I Will Always Love You." As a screen actress, she has appeared in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone, Steel Magnolias and Resnick's Straight Talk; she has also contributed songs to such films as Norma Rae, Rhinestone and Pink Cadillac.

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